Columbus Crew Stadium Owner Could Tweak Funding Contribution

New Columbus Crew Stadium rendering

The authority that will own a new Columbus Crew SC stadium is expected to tweak plans for its funding contribution, utilizing an alternative to issuing $25 million in bonds.

As part of the public-private funding model for a new soccer-specific stadium in Columbus’s Arena District, it has been expected that the Confluence Community Authoritya newly created entity that will own the stadium–will contribute $25 million in the form of bond money. It is now appears that it could change that approach, however, with authority officials considering a model that would instead rely on using special tax charges on new development surrounding the stadium to reimburse the Crew for its costs.

Another factor, too, is bonding from Franklin County, which is slated to be worth $75 million over 30 years and could raise more money than initially expected because of a decrease in interest rates since the project was announced last year. More from the Columbus Dispatch:

The governmental entity that will own the new Downtown stadium for the Columbus Crew SC is now unsure that it will issue $25 million in bonds to finance the project, as officials previously said.

The entity — the Confluence Community Authority — likely will use money from special tax charges on a new mixed-use development adjacent to the new stadium to directly reimburse the team for development costs incurred in construction, instead of payments on those bonds, said Gregory Daniels, an attorney with Squire Patton Boggs who is advising the authority.

The authority next week will price other bonds backed by a Franklin County contribution to the stadium deal worth $2.5 million a year for 30 years, or $75 million. It is yet unclear how much those bonds would raise, but the county has projected it to be $45 million. Daniels said it would likely be close to that amount.

Generally falling interest rates since the new stadium project was unveiled a year ago means the county’s investment might raise more money.

The new Crew stadium is being constructed as part of a $373-million project and is expected to anchor a surrounding mixed-use development dubbed Confluence Village. The $373-million price tag does not include roughly $64 million in public funds that are going toward improvements in the Arena District, as city officials are counting those expenditures separately from the stadium project. It has been expected that the new facility will open during the 2021 MLS season, replacing MAPFRE Stadium as the Crew’s home.

Rendering courtesy Columbus Crew SC.

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