TQL Stadium, the new home to FC Cincinnati, was a massive three-year undertaking that had its grand opening in Spring 2021. Nestled in the heart of Cincinnati’s West End, the project was developed to create an inclusive community while embodying the spirit of the city and improving the lives of children through soccer.
“We chose to build TQL Stadium in the West End, choosing the site for the energy the urban core brings,” said Matt Shearer, Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships for TQL. “We wanted to be an authentic piece of the city’s fabric, and we felt it was critical for the stadium to be located downtown in order to accomplish that goal.”
With a footprint of 12.4 acres equating to approximately 518,000 sq. ft., this project has been regarded as one of the most ambitious soccer-specific stadiums in the world. It was architected by Populous and designed in conjunction with SourceBlue to be more than just another sports stadium, but an all-encompassing upscale soccer experience.
“As a Cincinnati native and life-long resident, I have nothing but pride knowing TQL Stadium is a strong symbol of this city on the world stage,” said Jeff Berding, Co-CEO of FC Cincinnati. “We incorporated a lot of research and first-person feedback from fans and executives around the world with the goal of setting a new standard for both design and experience.”
From its inception, TQL Stadium was designed with a forward-thinking mindset, bringing innovation, cutting-edge technology, and patron engagement to the forefront. As such, it was evident that TQL Stadium needed an aesthetic to match the philosophy behind its creation.
“We worked closely with ownership to create a truly remarkable, one-of-a-kind stadium experience that will serve to raise the profile of the team, the league, and the city,” said Jonathan Mallie, Senior Principal of Populous. “From the bold graphics of the programmable LED integrated façade to the continuity of the seating bowl and the wall of sound created by the safe standing supporters’ section on game day, the iconic experience of TQL Stadium will be unrivaled as it serves its electric fan base.”
When it came to selecting the right vendor to further elevate the common areas through chic countertops, unique walls, and stunning backsplashes throughout the private and common areas of this massive project, Daltile quickly rose to the top of the list.
Daltile: from tile to stone to countertops
“SourceBlue has worked together extensively with Daltile in the past and when we started looking at this project, we felt that Daltile’s breadth of product selection, competitive pricing, and flexibility to provide material both from overseas and domestically were a good fit for the project’s aesthetic, budgetary, and schedule needs,” said Angela Rogers, Business Development Manager at SourceBlue.
Daltile’s robust Rolodex of unique product options was one of the many deciding factors for SourceBlue. The longstanding tile company offered a large spread of different tile looks from marble, wood, stone, and natural stone selections as well. Countertops were also going to be a big focus for this space so choosing a company that had a large breadth of countertop selections was also key. These brilliant Daltile selections not only provided SourceBlue with a unique aesthetic for TQL Stadium but also remained competitive in pricing when compared to other potential vendors.
“We wanted everything in TQL Stadium to deliver a ‘wow’ factor for all fans that attend our matches, and we worked closely with our architects and design team to ensure no detail was overlooked,” said Shearer. “As we worked through the final stages of the construction process, it became clear that Daltile was the right choice for some of the finishes, and we are thrilled with the final product.”
The TQL Stadium’s bar wall and backsplash feature an emboldened dark surface area in the striking ONE Quartz Surfaces Broadway black and natural stone Antico Scuro in picket. Natural stone marble can be used to create some of architecture and design’s most impressive structures. This Antico Scuro added to the avant-garde and sleek designs with its black base color and white veining to capture the very essence of elegance, giving each visitor and fan a glimpse into the timeless designs of tomorrow.
Color Wheel Classic in Arctic White was one of the biggest heroes of the stadium and was used throughout many spaces in different ways truly making it the perfect palette to inspire imagination. This subway tile created the stunning statement columns in the team store that let the team colors and logos shine throughout. This tile was also added to many of the concession stand bar walls to complement ONE Quartz Surfaces Independence Calacatta to create a soft and sophisticated counter. This simple but versatile white tile was also used to accent many bathroom walls throughout the stadium.
The Medspace Tunnel Club features a standout product with Daltile’s ONE Quartz Surfaces Independence Calacatta. Capturing the drama and mystique of forward-thinking design, Daltile’s meticulously crafted product serves as a functional conversation piece for the area’s intricately sophisticated aesthetic.
Many of the TQL Stadium bars were vamped up by adding Aviano Verona White to the bottom parts of the bar. Aviano’s defined texture delivers a clean, subtle design in a monochromatic color palette, perfect for walls and backsplashes.
The stadium bathrooms were made to stand out by adding Multitude Black and Origami White hexagon to the backsplashes. This 3-D hexagonal pattern added the perfect finish and depth that added character to these simple
“Daltile always listens to the conditions of satisfaction for the stakeholders of our projects and strives to provide product options that capture the best mix of quality, design intent, cost, and schedule benefits for our mutual client,” said Rogers. “This, combined with the breadth of product options Daltile can offer, makes Daltile a great partner for SourceBlue as we work to deliver the best value for our clients.”
Throughout the TQL project, Daltile’s additions not only captured the original design intent, but they also both aligned with and elevated the experience of each FC Cincinnati fan, player, and supporter. Continuing with its legacy of visual strength, the presence of Daltile throughout TQL Stadium serves as the pièce de resistance to a project centered around inclusivity, legacy, and elegance.
“We firmly believe we’ve not only matched the league’s best but pushed the bar further to deliver a superior fan experience for our incredible fan base,” said Berding. “A strong reason why we’re in this position is because of the amazing, visible pride and exuberance of our fan base. TQL Stadium was designed to showcase and harness that passion and create an extraordinary atmosphere and home-field advantage for our team.”