Though the coronavirus pandemic closed down construction work across the country, work continues at new FC Cincinnati, Austin FC and Columbus Crew SC MLS 2021 stadiums slated to open at some point during the season.
As you can tell from the screencaps on this page, the three MLS projects are not at the same point in construction: the top screencap shows work at the FC Cincinnati West End Stadium (taken April 10) the middle screencap (taken April 20) shows the Austin FC construction site at McKalla Place, while the third photo screencap (taken April 20) shows the Columbus Crew SC downtown stadium project.
There was a Dec. 19, 2018 groundbreaking for the FC Cincinnati stadium, with foundation work beginning July 2019. As of early April, per the team, construction remained on schedule for a spring 2021 opening. Check out our stadium preview via an interview with stadium designer Jonathan Mallie, Populous Director, Senior Principal.
In the case of the new Austin FC stadium, construction work was at one point halted by a Texas stay-at-home order, but the shutdown was short-lived. In this case, it’s not clear yet whether the shutdown will affect a 2021 opening date near the opening of the season, or if the stadium opening may need to take place later in the season.
(This is assuming we will be back to mass crowds allowed in public by then. Many scientists and health experts do not think there will be mass gatherings in stadiums or arenas for months to come.)
In the case of the new downtown Columbus Crew SC stadium, team officials were not planning to open at the beginning of the 2021 season: the plan was to begin the season at MAPFRE Stadium and then move to the new facility in July 2021. Team officials say the project got off to a fast start after an October 2019 groundbreaking after a mild Columbus winter, and a March stay-at-home order from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine allowed work to continue at the new stadium.