That is a question we cannot answer at this time,” said Dave O’Day, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture. But the answer is almost certain to come in time, because the state of Ohio is in talks with the National Football League to give the state the opportunity to join the professional sports league.
In 2005, the league and the state agreed to create a league, with the goal of developing and training athletes in Ohio to compete in the NFL. It’s been several years going through the paperwork and waiting for an official announcement of when a football team would be moved to Ohio.
“I think it will probably come sooner than people think,” Ohio Department of Agriculture agriculture spokesman Dave O’Day said.
The state has been holding out hope the NFL has interest in moving to the state. Several teams in Columbus, including the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Los Angeles Chargers, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks are all based in Cincinnati and play at Ohio Stadium. There are also a handful of cities in the state that have professional teams, from Cincinnati to Cleveland.
“I think we need to have a team (in Hamilton), like they did here, and I think we can move that along fairly quickly,” said Matt Siegel, director of community relations for the Cincinnati City-County Coliseum. He’s aware of some interest in Columbus, which hosted a Super Bowl in 2002. “We certainly welcome any team there,” Siegel said. “It was an incredible, awesome community for us to play in.”
The city has had at least one professional football stadium there for a few decades. The old stadium was designated for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium before it was purchased by the city of Cincinnati in 2007 and converted into the Hamilton County Coliseum. The league’s ownership is considering a bid to build a soccer stadium in Dayton next to Ohio Stadium. Siegel said there are talks at a public level with the league about a potential move, as Cincinnati is about the smallest city in the MLS, which could be a factor.
But the current plans call for the stadium to remain an indoor stadium with football seating as far as the upper bowl and a large outdoor field with a seating capacity of about 4,000 people. The team could play games under the roof of a regional stadium.
“We have received a great deal of interest from various groups. We will continue to explore the option of having the teams play in Hamilton County if Ohio State or Ohio University is chosen as the new home for
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