Tips for Attending an FC Cincinnati Match

An FC Cincinnati match is one of the most exciting sports to watch in Cincinnati.

There is such great energy from the crowd and you don’t have to be a big soccer fan to have a great time at an MLS ( Major League Soccer) match.

I’m sharing more about what you need to know before you attend an FC Cincinnati Match at TQL Stadium.

Washington Park in Cincinnati

How Early Should You Arrive Before the Match Starts?

I would recommend getting downtown several hours before the match starts so that you have plenty of time to find parking & grab a bite to eat.

Keep in mind that restaurants and bars are extra busy on match days.

CityBird Tenders OTR

Places to Eat Near the FC Stadium (TQL Stadium)

If you are looking for a family-friendly spot to grab a meal on the go before the match, try CityBird Tenders on 1344 Vine St and carry your meal to Washington Park.

This is a quick-service restaurant and there isn’t much seating in the small space. Save time in line by ordering ahead online.

I LOVE their lemon thyme ranch sauce for fries & their chicken tenders made without antibiotics. Their lemonade & tea are so good and worth the extra money.

Over the Rhine neighborhood Vine Street in Cincinnati Ohio

Other Great Places to Eat Near TQL Stadium

You honestly can’t go wrong with anything on Vine St.

  • The Eagle – (Fried Chicken and Southern Sides) 1342 Vine St., Cincinnati
  • Taste of Belgium OTR (Authentic Liege-style waffles)- 1135 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH
  • Bakersfield – (Tacos, Tequila, and Whiskey)n 1213 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH
  • Pontiac OTR – (BBQ and Bourbon Bar) 1403 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH

For a sweet treat try Graeter’s Ice Cream (1401 Vine St.) or Dojo Gelato at Findlay Market (137 W Elder St.)

Breweries and Places to Grab a Drink Near TQL Stadium

FC Cincinnati Pre-Match at Washington Park

Join the Pre-Match at the Park at Washington Park

1230 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 

Washington Park has a lot of free family-friendly activities several hours before each FC Cincinnati home match.

inflatable at Washington Park

Elm Street will have food trucks and The Porch has beer, wine, hard seltzer, and drink specials for purchase.

You can follow the Washington Park Facebook Page for updates on individual pre-match updates, themes, and highlights!

Pre Match Party in the Park

Food trucks are parked on Elm Street and The Porch at the park is open serving beer, wine, hard seltzer, and drink specials.

FC Cincinnati Pre-Match Parade at Washington Park

Attend the Pre-Match Parade

The pre-match parade starts at Northern Row Brewery & Distillery around 90 minutes before kickoff and joins fans at Findlay Market on Pleasant Street.

Northern Row is located at 111 W McMicken Ave, Cincinnati.

Pre match parade FC Cincinnati at Washington Park

Around 20 minutes before the match starts, you can join the parade at Washington Park and walk with other fans to the stadium together.

Pre match parade FC Cincinnati

Follow the Incline Collective on Twitter for updates on the parade route and specific times.

Pre match parade FC Cincinnati
Pre match parade FC Cincinnati

It’s a short walk from Washington Park to the TQL Stadium and it’s a really cool experience that helps get you hyped for the match.

Pre match parade FC Cincinnati

The crowd gathers together for a pep talk and final cheer before entering the stadium.

Pre match parade FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati Fans are Encouraged to Arrive at the Stadium by 7pm for night games

An earlier arrival by FC Cincinnati fans helps to create an incredible atmosphere before the match starts.

Pre match parade FC Cincinnati

What Can You Bring Into the TQL Stadium for an FC Cincinnati Match

You can bring the following types of bags into the stadium

  • Clear bags 12″ X 6″ X 12″
  • Small clutch/ bag 4.5″ X 6.5″
  • 1 Gallon Clear Freezer Bag
Parking at OTR Kroger

Parking for an FC Cincinnati Game

Parking is tricky on match day. We ended up at the 3CDC parking garage off of Central attached to the downtown Kroger On the Rhine. Parking was easy to find in the garage but we waited a long time to get out of the garage after the game.

Make sure that you take a picture of your parking garage level and any other numbers that help you find it quickly when you return to the garage.

Parking Garages For an FC Cincinnati Match

  • East Garage – Located off Central Parkway on the East side of TQL Stadium
  • West Surface Lot -Entrance is located off John Street on the SW side of TQL Stadium
  • West End Garage -1530 John Street, Cincinnati, OH
  • Ada Parking at Town Center Garage
  • Town Center Garage – 1223 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Mercer Commons Garage -5 Mercer St, Cincinnati, OH
  • Parkhaus – 1123 Sycamore St, Cincinnati, OH
  • 84.51 Degree Garage -521 Race St, Cincinnati, OH
  • 222 West 7th Street Garage
  • 1 West 7th Street Garage

If you can find a small paid lot you can probably get out quicker.

Washington Park at Night

Or just take your time and grab a drink or snack at a restaurant, or relax at Washington Park afterward. Washington Park is really beautiful at night with colorful fountains and string lights hanging from the gazebo.

Concessions at TQL Stadium

Concession at the FC Cincinnati Game at TQL Stadium

If you skip the parade you can check out all the concession options before the lines get long. The stadium is cash-free to help reduce time in line.

TQL Stadium has 14 concession stands, 2 grab-and-go markets, and 25 portable carts located throughout.

Packaged and draft beer will be available on the concourse at the Heineken Supporters Bar, Coors Light Bar, and Rhinegeist bar.

Find Concessions by Section Number at TQ Stadium

You can find your favorite food or drink vendor listed by section number listed below.

  • 102 – Pretzel and Popcorn Cart
  • 103– LaRosa’s Pizza, Vizzy Grab n’ Go Market
  • 104 – Rhine Roost
  • 105 – Cutwater Canned Cocktails
  • 106 – Gomez Tacos
  • 107– AJ’s Philly Cheesesteaks, Sway Canned Cocktails, and Draft Beer
  • 108– Heineken Draft Bar, Rhinegeist Draft Beer
  • 109 – Lucius Q
  • 110– Pretzel and Popcorn Cart, Cutwater Canned Cocktails
  • 111 – Coors Light Bar
  • 112 – Beer Cart, Frisch’s
  • 114 – Smokehaus
  • 115 – SuperBook Marketplace (Early May)
  • 123 – Samuel Adams Grab n’ Go Market
  • 124 – Queen City Eats
  • 126 – Buffalo Wings n’ Rings, Specialty Pretzel Cart
  • 127 – Fretboard Grab n’ Go Market
  • 128 – Skyline Chili
  • 129 – LaRosa’s Pizza, Sway Canned Cocktails
  • 130 – Queen City Eats, Fretboard Grab n’ Go Market
  • 131 – Rhinegeist Bar
  • 132 – Grippo’s Grab n’ Go Market
  • 134 – Funnel Cake Cart, TQL Bar
popcorn at TQL Stadium

For a fast concession option during the half, go to the Platform Market. We grabbed drinks & popcorn and were back to our seats before the second half started.

We didn’t want to risk missing a goal in a concession line during the game.

colorful smoke from the bailey section at FC Cincinnati game

The Bailey Section is Also Fun to Watch During the Match

This super fan section isn’t for the faint of heart. They have endurance and stamina with ample lung capacity, colorful smoke bombs, flags, and constant cheers the whole entire match.

Also, be prepared to stand the whole match if you choose to sit in this section.

Adventure mom and son at FC Cincinnati

Why Do They Wear Scarves at FC Cincinnati?

The scarves have a dual purpose. In the colder months, they are used for their obvious purpose to keep you warm. Fans also hold their scarves up to welcome their team to “the pitch,” AKA playing surface.

photographer taking pictures at FC Cincinnati match

The Match Could End in a Tie

A match that ends in a tie may seem odd if you are newer to watching Major League Soccer. That one threw me off because I’m used to seeing a determined winner for other professional sports.

Even if you aren’t a big sports fan, an FC Cincinnati match is an experience worth adding to your list!

How to Purchase FC Cincinnati Tickets

You can purchase FC Cincinnati Tickets online from their website. You can also find deals on Stubhub and Geekseat.

TQL Stadium in Cincinnati

Where is the TQL Stadium Located?

The TQL Stadium is located at 1501 Central Pkwy, Cincinnati, OH.

Need to Book a Stay in Cincinnati?

You can compare prices for hotels and vacation rentals nearby using the interactive map above.

Zoom in and out on the map to choose your desired proximity to TQL stadium.

Where to Find FC Cincinnati Gear

Looking for FC Cincinnati gear before you go?

Locally you can find FC Cincinnati at Homage located at 1232 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH

You can also find an assortment of FC Cincinnati-themed gear on Amazon.

American Sign Museum in Cincinnati Ohio

Looking for More Things to Do in Cincinnati?

Check out my article about Cincinnati’s Best hidden gems and Unique Things to do.

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