Photo courtesy Brett Hansbauer / FC Cincinnati
CINCINNATI – ESPN announced on Wednesday morning that the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 game between the USL’s FC Cincinnati and Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire at Nippert Stadium has been moved to ESPN’s main network, marking the first time a USL club will feature on ESPN since the Rochester Rhinos’ victory in the 1999 Open Cup Final. The game will also be aired on ESPN Deportes and the WatchESPN app, with kickoff set for 8 p.m. ET.
The announcement continues to build the anticipation for the Open Cup clash, which could see FC Cincinnati surpass its own non-final Open Cup attendance record that was set two weeks ago when 30,160 fans saw the USL club defeat Columbus Crew SC 1-0 in the Fourth Round.
FCC announced on Tuesday evening the club had surpassed 25,000 tickets sold for Wednesday night’s game against the four-time Open Cup champion Fire as it looks to advance to the tournament’s Quarterfinal stage for the first time.
Wednesday night’s attendance could also surpass FCC’s club record for a competitive contest, which was set in the 2016 USL Cup Playoffs when 30,187 were on hand for Cincinnati’s Eastern Conference Quarterfinals clash with the Charleston Battery.