New Columbus Crew SC stadium focus groups are being held this week, providing the organization with an opportunity to solicit fan input for its facility plan.
The Crew is planning to move into a new soccer-specific stadium in 2021, which will be built on a site near Columbus’s Arena District–a busy area that already includes Nationwide Arena, home to the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Columbus Clippers’ (Class AAA; International League) Huntington Park. As part of the overall project, the stadium will be surrounded by a slate of amenities within a mixed-use development dubbed Confluence Village.
To solicit fan feedback, the Crew is conducting a series of focus groups this week, which began Tuesday and are also scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. During those discussions, the Crew will look for input on ideas such as seating options and other fan amenities that will be incorporated in the new stadium. ABC6OnYourSide.com has more on the focus groups.
Planning for the new stadium follows a development that saw Anthony Precourt explore a move of the Crew to Austin, only for a solution to emerge to keep the team in Columbus while allowing him to proceed with plans for Austin. Jimmy and Dee Haslam–owners of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns–and the Columbus-based Edwards family bought into MLS and received operating rights to Columbus, and will be carrying out the plans for a new stadium. Precourt, meanwhile, remained an MLS investor and received rights to Austin, where Austin FC will begin play in 2021 as the league’s 27th team.
The new facility will replace MAPFRE Stadium, the soccer-specific stadium at the Ohio State Fairgrounds that has been home to the club since 1999. It is envisioned that, once a new stadium opens, the MAPFRE Stadium site will be redeveloped into a sports park that includes community and tournament fields, as well as MLS training space.
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