Fans of Major League Soccer franchise FC Cincinnati have selected the club’s ‘Gary’ winged lion logo as the design for the east-side seating area of the team’s new West End Stadium following an online vote.

The majority of the stand will be blue, with the logo to be orange. FC Cincinnati has also added the letters ‘FCC’ in orange across the mezzanine level of the south end of the stadium, which is due to open in spring 2021.

Fans were invited to contribute to the design of West End Stadium through an online poll. Supporters were able to vote for the favourite final bowl seating design from a group of four patterns drawn up by stadium architect Populous. Fans who voted were entered into a random draw to win two tickets to FC Cincinnati’s first match at West End Stadium.

The vote generated more than 5,000 entries between May 18 and May 22. Ninety-five per cent of fans who voted selected one of the two designs that featured Gary, with the winning design receiving 55 per cent of the total votes.

FC Cincinnati president Jeff Berding said: “We are thrilled to see our fans so overwhelmingly select a design with an orange Gary. Since our MLS brand launch in November 2018, there has been a steady groundswell of organic support for the winged lion in our logo. Even his name originated from our supporters and fans – before our MLS logo was even formally released.

“The fact that they so unanimously favoured designs with Gary means a lot to us as a club. When West End Stadium opens next spring, Gary will become an iconic symbol of our club and stadium around the world – and our supporters will have played a valuable role in the design.”

On the south end zone design, Berding added: “We quickly saw how passionate our fans were about wanting the club name as a text element in the seats. The seating order for The Bailey was already completed, which prevents us from adding it there as many fans requested. However, we were able to adjust and incorporate F-C-C lettering into the south end zone seat design. When West End Stadium opens, our fans will have had a tremendous impact on what stadium visitors and the world see week-in and week-out.”

FC Cincinnati is expected to begin seating installation at West End Stadium in the autumn before the venue opens in the spring of 2021. The stadium is set to have a capacity of between 26,000 and 26,500.

Since entering MLS last year, FC Cincinnati has played at the 40,000-seat Nippert Stadium, which primarily serves as the home of the University of Cincinnati’s American football team.

Image: FC Cincinnati/Populous