As part of its ongoing effort to keep the club in Columbus, Save The Crew has unveiled plans for a proposed Columbus Crew SC stadium.
Crew investor-operator Anthony Precourt continues to pursue a move of his club to Austin, where a proposal is on the table for a $200 million privately financed stadium at the city-owned McKalla Place. The Austin City Council is still sorting through the various terms of that proposal and will have other development plans to consider for the site, but it could vote on Thursday to move forward with the authorization of negotiation of agreements with Precourt’s Precourt Sports Ventures.
Meanwhile, the group Save The Crew continues with its effort to prevent the club from moving and has presented a plan for a new Columbus stadium. The proposal unveiled by the group on Monday calls for the stadium to be constructed in the city’s Arena District, at a site bordered by I-670 to the north, West Nationwide Boulevard to the south, railroad to the east, and the Olentangy River to the West. The stadium would seat over 22,000–including a mix of standard and premium seating–offer views of downtown Columbus, and be located near Huntington Park and Nationwide Arena, the respective homes of baseball’s Columbus Clippers (Class AAA; International League) and the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets.
With this unveiling, the group is hoping to spark discussions about a new stadium in Columbus should the Crew remain in the city under new local investment. More from 10TV.com:
“A short walk from Huntington Park and Nationwide Arena, the move to the Nationwide Realty site would situate each Columbus professional sports team within a few blocks of each other in downtown Columbus, fulfilling the original vision for the Arena District,” Save The Crew said in a news release.
Save The Crew says the initial design was put together by volunteer architects and Columbus-based Rogers Krajnak Inc.
“We view this stadium design as a launchpad to start a conversation about the future home of Columbus Crew SC, following the purchase by local ownership.”
There are still numerous questions to be answered about the Crew’s future. The Austin City Council still has to decide whether to move forward with an agreement with PSV, select another development proposal, or hold off on making any changes to McKalla Place. PSV has been seeking to move the Crew to Austin by the 2019 MLS season and play two seasons at an existing venue in the area before moving into the new stadium in 2021, though that plan is not finalized and hinges on what Austin officials decide about the group’s stadium proposal.
In Columbus, Precourt’s intention to move the team prompted a lawsuit from Ohio attorney general Mike DeWine and Columbus city attorney Zach Klein. The plaintiffs are citing an Art Modell-inspired state law–put into effect after Modell moved the original Cleveland Browns to Baltimore–to block the team from relocating, and have named the Crew and MLS as co-defendants. A 90-day toll was put into effect in May, and a judge recently ordered a 44-day extension of that pause into September. The Crew and MLS have filed a motion to dismiss the case, and oral arguments over that motion are currently scheduled for September 7.
Rendering courtesy Save The Crew.
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