Top Stories

Report: Columbus offers two public parks as sites for new Crew stadium

Columbus leadership continues to try its hardest to keep the MLS club from bolting the city for Austin.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Mayor Andrew Ginther and Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, offered up two public parks as potential stadium sites for the Columbus Crew.

In a letter to owner Anthony Precourt and MLS commissioner Don Garber, the city and the Columbus Partnership provided three potential options for a stadium that would keep the Crew in Ohio.

The first was Berliner Park, which sits on more than 200 acres of city-owned property just minutes from downtown Columbus. According to the letter, it sits in one of the most prosperous areas of the city and has an option to build a riverfront stadium

The second is Dodge Recreation Center, which sits on 16 acres of riverfront property in a growing neighborhood, again minutes from downtown.

Finally, the partnership offered to redevelop MAPFRE Stadium and the area surrounding the facility. The propose building a world class soccer stadium on that site and connecting the area to Ohio State University with improved transportation.

The letter also addressed the club’s ownership as they looked for ways to get more local investors involved. They proposed a 50% ownership split between Precourt and local investors using what they call a “Green Bay Packers” model of franchise ownership.

Ginther and Fischer’s letter states they made these proposals at the Nov. 15 meeting between themselves, Precourt, and MLS officials.


    • Check out and for more info.

      And if you haven’t already, please go to and sign the letter to Don Garber

  1. Let’s suppose this happens, which I don’t believe it will. They build the stadium and still the attendance in Columbus sucks, like it has for 10 years. Then what? Build another stadium?

    • First off, they avg’d over 17k the past two years and have never been at the bottom of the league in attendance.
      If you want a turn around, look at SKC. Their attendance was horrible before the new stadium. Now they sell out every game. Imagine if Precourt had put even half an effort into the Crew, or actually built the $300k stadium that he is now promising Austin.

      • Like it or not it’s a fair question. Columbus (the city) never seemed to embrace the Crew until now. If they weren’t threatening to leave, would the city be doing this? I’m not saying I don’t feel for Columbus fans but it’s not like people in Columbus we’re craving Crew soccer. Maybe a new stadium would help but if the overall community is meh what good would it do?

      • The league looks like it’s going to add Cincinnati. An in state rival may also help to rejuvenate Columbus. The NYCFC rivalry has helped the Red Bulls in my opinion.

    • JayFc, shouldn’t ownership take some responsibility? One of the few things they did was raise prices on tickets, parking, and concessions. The city has embraced the Crew for a long time, Precourt has not embraced the city (despite the city inspired jerseys last year).

      • Frank – I have to admit that I’m torn on this issue now that everything has come out about the way Precourt and MLS have handled this situation. However, you can’t place blame on ownership for raising prices without also considering the rebranding, great coach (most underrated in MLS), and a great product on the field that wins consistently. Those are all ownership things, too — in fact, they are among the most important parts of ownership in my opinion.

  2. Seattle’s turf field is terrible. They all are. Only Portland kind of gets away with it. Honestly will turn the TV when a game is there in favor of something else.

  3. And this, this is the problem with the SSS. Too small and probably better off going new stadium, than updating old, which most of them were touted as being able to do. So now….lets play the song and dance of how much public money can we get.

    When you watch the Sounders play on turf tomorrow…and it is raining, making the turf even faster….remember, there are a ton of fans there, it is a great stadium and it will stay that way for as long as they want it to.

    Instead of fancy stadium picture, next time let’s get a three part plan for the life of a stadium.

    Now when MLS avg 25k attendance.
    Here is upgrade to 40k stadium
    Now, here is real 60k team’s stadium

    • A good “fer instance” of that would be LAFC’s new digs. They look shiny as all, but the stadium only seats 22K…and this is right next to the 90K Coliseum.

      Are they really thinking big enough there? I know the Galaxy don’t always pack the house out in Carson…but LAFC assuredly ain’t out in Carson. Other downtown venues like Atlanta and Seattle strongly suggest that 22K could quickly become a joke.

      That being the case, how long would it really take them to upgrade those digs? Or, as you mentioned, can they even do that with the existing structure?

      • I’ve only been to a couple games in Orlando’s new stadium, but that place is always packed and sold out at 25,000. It’s hard to get tickets for regular season games.

        There’s something to be said for having sell out crowds. Obviously, the planning and drawings are done 2-3 years before a stadium is actually built, so it’s hard to foresee attendance. Would Orlando have been laughed at if they had planned on a 40,000 stadium back 3-4 years ago? Probably. Which I guess lends credence to those who argue for sharing with an NFL team (see Seattle and Atlanta). I don’t necessarily agree with that, mostly due to turf, but I can see the point.

    • Part of the reason the Carson Galaxy don’t always pack their stadium is that attendance is limited on certain gamedays d/t StubHub’s location on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills.


Leave a Comment