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FC Cincinnati to Play First MLS Game at Nippert Stadium on March 17

December 20, 2018 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - FC Cincinnati News Release

CINCINNATI - FC Cincinnati will open its 2019 home schedule on Sunday, March 17, when the team hosts MLS Cup finalist Portland Timbers at 5 p.m. at Nippert Stadium in its first-ever Major League Soccer contest in the Queen City.

FCC will formally open the 2019 season with back-to-back road games in front of MLS' two largest average crowds. Major League Soccer announced all 24 teams' home openers on Thursday afternoon.

FC Cincinnati will play its first-ever MLS game at CenturyLink Field against Seattle Sounders FC at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 2.

In Week 2, FCC will meet MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 10.

The Orange and Blue will play its first-ever home game as a member of MLS one week later in Week 3, officially welcoming MLS to Cincinnati for the first time.

Tickets to the FCC home opener, which is Presented by Mercy Health, are currently only available through Season Ticket Memberships, which start at $199. Fans can be guaranteed to secure the best seats for the March 17 game by purchasing season tickets at or by calling 513-977-KICK (5425).

"We've been deep in preparations for our entry to MLS, between roster building and construction on both our stadium and training facility, but the matches have always seemed a bit off in the future," FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding said. "Now, to finally have firm dates and opponents on the start of a schedule, it's truly real now. We have clear destinations where we begin competing for Cincinnati.

"We are ecstatic to open the season at Seattle and then play at Atlanta, a recent MLS champion and then the reigning MLS Cup winner. But we couldn't be any more excited to know we're going to play our first MLS game at Nippert Stadium and show North America and the world what Cincinnati has to offer MLS," Berding said.

Major League Soccer is expected to release the league's entire 2019 schedule in early January.

Cincinnati will enter MLS as the league's 24th team in 2019, having earned an expansion bid to the league in May 2018.

While Cincinnati smashed USL attendance records in each of its three seasons in the lower division, FCC's 2018 home attendance average of 25,717 would have ranked fourth in MLS. Atlanta (53,002) and Seattle (40,641) ranked Nos. 1 and 2 in MLS average attendance in 2018.

FC Cincinnati has already surpassed its 2018 season ticket membership numbers and is fast approaching the 19,000 tickets sold mark.

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