Berding at an FC Cincinnati match in 2018
|Occupation||General manager and President of FC Cincinnati|
|Member of the City Council of Cincinnati|
December 2005 – March 2011
Jeff Berding (born February 8, 1967) is an American sports executive and politician. Since 2015, he has served as the general manager and president of the FC Cincinnati, a soccer club in the United Soccer League. He is also a Democratic politician, having served on the Cincinnati City Council from 2005 to 2011. From 1996 to 2015, he worked as an executive for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jeff Berding was born on February 8, 1967, and grew up in the Westwood neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, with nine siblings. Berding became interested in sports at an early age and played basketball, baseball, and soccer in school. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati in 1985 and attended Miami University.
Cincinnati Bengals (1996–2015)
Berding was an executive with the Cincinnati Bengals for 19 years, starting in 1996 after working on a sales tax initiative that would fund construction of Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park. He quit his position as Director of Sales & Public Affairs in July 2015 to found the new soccer club FC Cincinnati.
FC Cincinnati (2015–present)
In August 2015, news broke of the formation of a United Soccer League franchise team to be located in Cincinnati and begin play in spring 2016, with Jeff Berding as president and general manager. Upon launching, the club was quickly noted for its unusually high attendance, frequently outdrawing Major League Soccer matches and breaking league records.
In October 2017, Berding spoke at a Hamilton County Commissioners public hearing on major projects to advocate for public funding to build a new stadium for FC Cincinnati to play in, should the club's bid to join Major League Soccer as an expansion team succeed.
Berding was elected to a two-year term on the Cincinnati City Council in 2005 in his first campaign for political office. He previously worked for Senator John Glenn and on other political campaigns. In the 2005 election, Berding raised the most money of all the candidates in the race. Although he is a Democrat, the council seats are nonpartisan. He served as Chair of the Rules and Government Operations Committee, Vice-chair of the Finance Committee, and was a member of the Law and Public Safety Committee and the Economic Development Committee.
In 2009, the local Democratic Party withdrew its endorsement of Berding.
In January 2011, Berding announced that he would soon resign from his council position, citing a desire to focus on his position with the Cincinnati Bengals. He stayed on the council for two more months before officially resigning in March.
In his State of the City speech in October 2016, Cincinnati mayor John Cranley named Jeff Berding and Carl Lindner III as the shared holders of the Cincinnatian of the Year award for their work managing FC Cincinnati.
Jeff Berding married Lindsay Berding in 2009. He has three children, Allie, Jack and Grace.
- Coolidge, Sharon (June 6, 2018). "Relentless: How West Sider Jeff Berding brought Major League Soccer to Cincinnati". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved June 6, 2018.
- Korte, Gregory (December 14, 2005). "Happy St. Xavier High School Day". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2007.
- Watkins, Steve (August 19, 2015). "Here's how the Bengals are replacing Berding". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- Watkins, Steve (August 11, 2015). "Well-known Cincinnati family will own city's new pro soccer team". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- Brennan, Patrick (May 15, 2016). "Record FC Cincy crowd nearly bests all of MLS". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- Wetterich, Chris (October 9, 2017). "Berding floats alternatives to taxpayer dollars for FC Cincinnati stadium". Cincinnati Business Courier. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- Cincinnati Enquirer fundraising report[dead link]
- Cincinnati Enquirer on Berding's un-endorsement Archived July 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- Preuth, Ian (January 27, 2011). "Jeff Berding to resign from City Council". WCPO. E. W. Scripps Company. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Kimura, Fumi (September 8, 2016). "Jeff Berding To Receive Silver Hope Award From National MS Society". FC Cincinnati. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
- "2016 State of the City Address". City of Cincinnati. October 4, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2017.