Columbus officials have approved an initial $13 million payment toward Columbus Crew facilities projects, including the club’s new stadium and a planned redevelopment of MAPFRE Stadium.
The Crew broke ground in October on a new stadium, which will be built in Columbus’s Arena District and anchor a larger mixed-use development known as Confluence Village. Along with planning the new venue, the team has been working with local, state, and county officials on a plan to eventually overhaul MAPFRE Stadium–its home since 1999–as part of a project that will include MLS training space and a sports park.
At a Monday evening meeting, the Columbus City Council approved a $13 million payment toward a newly created authority that is tasked with building the new stadium and the MAPFRE redevelopment. This payment is part of the city’s initial $50 million pledge to the project, and the marks the first of three annual installments. More from the Columbus Dispatch:
The payment is the first of three annual cash installments totaling $38 million that the city originally announced it would contribute to the project under its initial pledge to provide $50 million. The city also will donate an additional $12 million in city-funded infrastructure improvements to the Confluence Village stadium site west of the Arena District.
The council voted 6-0 to approve the first cash disbursement, which the city was contractually obligated to make by next Sunday under a contract with the team.
The Dispatch reported in October that, despite Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s initial announcement that the city’s total contribution was $50 million, city documents obtained under the Ohio Public Records Act indicate that the city will spend double that on stadium-related projects, including building a parking garage next to the new stadium just west of the Huntington Park baseball field, relocating a sewer and power lines, building a pedestrian bridge and improving intersections.
After The Dispatch broke that story, Ginther said at a stadium groundbreaking ceremony that the city’s total contribution will be $113.9 million, which includes what he called “additional funds for infrastructure for this incredible new jobs center.”
The funding model for the overall project is being carried out as part of a public-private partnership, with Crew ownership contributing $233 million, $52 million coming from Franklin County, $20 million from the State of Ohio, and $25 million from the Confluence Community Authority–the entity that will own the facilities. It has been anticipated that the new stadium will open during the 2021 MLS season.
Rendering courtesy Columbus Crew SC.
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