As Columbus Crew SC edge towards being saved by a new owner, plans for a new $230 million soccer-specific stadium have moved to the next stage.
With Anthony Precourt in negotiations with MLS about selling the Crew to a group led by Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, plus the Edwards family of Columbus, the big stumbling block around keeping MLS in Columbus was a new stadium.
The “Save The Crew” movement has been going on for well over a year, and this news will be music to the ears of the fans of an one of Major League Soccer’s original franchises.
The potential new owners have now committed to a huge new stadium project if they buy the franchise, according to details from Tristan Navera at Columbus Business First. The impressive project would see a 20,000 capacity soccer stadium built in the Arena District on land owned by Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd.
Along with housing and retail units, the stadium would not be too far from Nationwide Arena (home to NHL franchise, the Blue Jackets) in downtown Columbus, and the Crew would move from Mapfre stadium to “Columbus Crew Arena” for the 2021 season.
Here are a few more details on the project via the report:
The 33-acre site would house the stadium on 13 acres, while anchoring 15 additional acres targeted for mixed-use private development and 5 acres devoted to public infrastructure, including a new riverfront park. The Confluence Village development surrounding the stadium would feature as much as 270,000 square feet of commercial and office space that could bring an additional 1,300 workers to the district, along with 885 residential units, including 20 percent set aside as affordable housing. At 20,000 seats, Columbus Crew Arena would roughly match the seating capacity of Mapfre Stadium, while adding 30 suites and 30 loge boxes.
Moving from the Crew’s outdated home on the outskirts of the city is paramount to their future success and is something Precourt said he wanted to do for quite some time. Now, the potential new owners would make that dream a reality as they seem incredibly committed to Columbus.
The report also details how Mapfre Stadium, which became the first-ever soccer specific stadium in the U.S. when it was built in 1999, would be revamped and turned into a huge leisure facility for the community when the Crew move to a new stadium.
If the new ownership group could pull this off, it would surely safeguard Columbus’ future as a soccer city for decades to come.