Originally Posted by Yachtzee
You need two things to get an MLS franchise: an owner willing to put up the cash and a suitable soccer stadium. At one point, Cleveland was awarded a franchise but had to give it up when financing for a soccer stadium fell through. Note that having an American football stadium doesn't work for most cities as the field is too narrow for good soccer. Seattle is a notable exception because I believe Quest Field was designed to allow for a wider soccer field. Stadia like PBS or Browns Stadium are fine for friendly matches, but are considered unsuitable for regular play. It's also the reason why USMNT World Cup Qualifiers are held in Columbus and not Cleveland or Cincinnati, even though they could sell more tickets for by playing in the bigger football stadia.
I think the only way soccer works is if you have a specifically designed stadium that packs 18-25K into a facility for that "sold out" environment v. the same number in an NFL stadium where the atmosphere is deadened by the masses of empty seats. I went to a DC United game at RFK a long time ago, and the environment was just crap for that reason.
That's why this is all really a pipe dream, though -- there's absolutely no way that Cincinnati is ever going to publicly finance another a sports facility after the debacle with Paul Brown Stadium. It's just fun to imagine a soccer-specific facility in town -- maybe down in the West End -- with rivalry games against Columbus every year.