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Business First of Columbus - 10:00 AM EST Monday

Crew Stadium to host concert

 

Crew Stadium will host a concert by country singer Kenny Chesney May 27 as part of a new partnership between the Columbus Crew and AEG Live.  The concert will be the first of several to be brought to Crew Stadium by the partnership, said Crew General Manager Mark McCullers said in a release.  The partnership with AEG Live will help Crew Stadium attract marquee sports and entertainment events to Columbus, he said.

 

Full story at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/02/20/daily2.html 

 

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Crew plans new soccer complex

Pizzuti is working with MLS team to build roomy practice structure, multifield park

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mike Pramik THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH 

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/business-story.php?story=dispatch/2006/11/10/20061110-G1-01.html

 

The Columbus Crew has hired Pizzuti Cos. to develop an indoor training center and soccer park somewhere in central Ohio, one that would be a showplace for the sport.  Initial plans for the park include as many as 16 soccer fields next to an indoor practice building for the Crew. Since 1997, the Crew has practiced at an outdoor location in Obetz, but General Manager Mark McCullen said the Major League Soccer team has outgrown it and wants to abandon it when its lease expires in 2009.

 

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What about the Cooper Stadium site?  Are there currently any plans to redevelop the site once the new ballpark opens?  I know it's only 30-40 acres tops with all the parking, but I would love to see some type of inner city/urban soccer complex.  Something that is desperately lacking in soccer in this country.

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Athletic fields of some type have been floated for the Cooper Stadium site. However the forerunner in the bid for the site appears to be A.D. Farrow, who plans to expand his Harley-Davidson store on the site, as well as construct a possibly motorsports track and training center. It sounds like the Crew wants quite a sizeable amount of land, so it will likely be built way out in boonies, similar to Sports Ohio in Dublin, before it was surrounded by sprawl.

 

Though I would love to see your idea of an urban soccer campus, especially to get youth that live in the city interested in the sport. The article mentions space available around Crew Stadium, though not enough to support the desired plans. Maybe the Crew could do something similar to the Blue Jackets and the Chiller, which helps sponsor several ice skating rinks throughout the city. A secondary practice/public field could easily be built next to the current Crew Stadium. It would be a very good idea to pass on to Crew officials.

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The leading plan (nothing finalized yet) is for the AD Farrow Harley Davidson dealership to build a massive store, a motorcycle training facility, racetrack and extreme sports complex at the Cooper Stadium site.  Or something like that.

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Crew kicking around sites for bigger soccer complex

Business First of Columbus - by Brian R. Ball, Business First

Friday, November 10, 2006

 

The Columbus Crew is looking to build a new practice complex that could become an economic development engine for the community that lands the $20 million project.  The city's Major League Soccer franchise has hired Pizzuti Solutions LLC to gather bids from area communities for the complex, which is expected to include a full-size indoor practice field and a sports medicine center.  The operation also is expected to include 16 soccer fields that could host tournaments for youth and developmental leagues.

 

Crew General Manager Mark McCullers said the team hopes to pick a site by mid-2007 so it can move into the complex by early 2010.  A similar soccer complex in suburban Dallas attracts more than 700,000 guests a year to events outside MLS games, he said.

 

Full article: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2006/11/13/story3.html

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From the 4/7/07 Newark Advocate:

 

 

Newark, others show interest in major soccer facility

Columbus Crew looking to build new site in central Ohio

By DAVE PURPURA

Advocate Reporter

 

NEWARK -- When Bruce Bain heard Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew was looking to build a new training facility somewhere in central Ohio, his interest piqued immediately.  "We have the size, we have the land and our infrastructure is adequate," said Bain, Newark's mayor. "We have the field for an indoor facility. We think we have a great shot to get this."

 

A 170,000-square-foot building with a full-size indoor field will be the centerpiece of the facility, which also will feature 16 outdoor fields. The Crew aims to complete construction by September 2009.  Representatives from 13 central Ohio communities -- including Newark, Granville and Pataskala -- and four counties -- Licking, Delaware, Fairfield and Pickaway -- attended a pre-proposal meeting Friday at Crew Stadium.

 

Read more at http://www.newarkadvocate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070407/NEWS01/704070301/1002/rss01

 

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What, no more Obetz? I guess all these soccer guys don't like seeing the engineless Novas and Camaros on the way to work. I like Obetz because I'm a car guy, but if that's not you're lifestyle, you probably want to be somewhere else.

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From ThisWeek Big Walnut, 4/8/07:

 

 

Sunbury makes bid to host Crew facility

Sunday, April 8, 2007

By MARK MAJOR

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

Though Sunbury came to the game late, the village now has as much chance as anybody of snagging a proposed Columbus Crew practice facility, village and county officials said after a meeting last week.  Until Tuesday morning, just one site in Delaware County looked like it might make a good home for the Crew's proposed 97-acre practice facility, said John Barron, Delaware County's director of economic development.

 

The Crew's search for a new home for its practice facility began in earnest last month when Columbus developer Pizzuti Solutions LLC sent a "request for development partner" to leaders of communities throughout central Ohio.

 

The facility proposed by Pizzuti Solutions includes 19 playing fields, including 16 regulation playing fields, as well as a 170,000-square-foot office building/training facility featuring a synthetic indoor field. Developers have said the facility will probably be made available to amateur teams when complete.

 

Read more at http://www.thisweeknews.com/?story=sites/thisweeknews/040807/Sunbury/News/040807-News-333348.html

 

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From ThisWeek Big Walnut, 4/22/07:

 

 

Sunbury still in running for Crew practice facility

Sunday, April 22, 2007

By MARK MAJOR

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

In the race to host the Columbus Crew's proposed new practice facility, things might be breaking Sunbury's way.  Thanks to the Crew's recent decision to move the deadline for applications from April 30 to June 1, Delaware County's economic development director, John Barron, said Sunbury should have the time it needs to put together the best package it can.

 

Read more at http://www.thisweeknews.com/?story=sites/thisweeknews/042207/Sunbury/News/042207-News-341535.html

 

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From ThisWeek Big Walnut, 4/29/07:

 

 

Sunbury to be among sites proposed for Crew facility

Sunday, April 29, 2007

By MARK MAJOR

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

According to Sunbury council member Bob Bishop it's all but official -- the village should end up as one of two proposed sites Delaware County will present to the Columbus Crew in a bid to become home to the professional soccer team's new practice facility.  After a meeting April 23 among representatives of project developer Pizzuti and representatives of the county and village, things look good for Sunbury, Bishop said.  "It seemed like they were receptive to our plans," he said.

 

Delaware County Economic Development Director John Barron had said the outcome of a meeting with Pizzuti representatives could help the county decide whether Sunbury's proposal would be presented to developers.

 

Read more at http://www.thisweeknews.com/?story=sites/thisweeknews/042907/Sunbury/News/042907-News-345779.html

 

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From the 6/2/07 Newark Advocate:

 

 

City sweetens deal in Crew application

Newark offers more land than what team is seeking

By MARK SZAKONYI

Advocate Reporter

 

NEWARK -- Newark came one step closer to possibly getting a Major League Soccer training facility Friday by submitting an application the mayor calls "nothing short of amazing."  The Columbus Crew facility would bring $52 million in sales, more than $18 million in wages and more than 1,100 jobs to the region if Newark is selected.

 

"I think we have a real good shot at making the top final three," said Stephen Fowler, the city's economic development manager.  The team is expected to pick its final contenders within two weeks at the soonest and is expected to make a final decision in either September or October, he said. About five or six other communities are expected to apply, Fowler estimated.

 

Read more at http://www.newarkadvocate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070602/NEWS01/706020304/1002/rss01

 

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Link contains photos.  From the 6/6/07 Newark Advocate:

 

 

GRAPHIC: This map depicts the proposed soccer complex Newark would build if it is selected to be home to the Columbus Crew's practice facility. The site would be located between Goosepond Road on the north, North 21st Street to the east and Sharon Valley Road to the south.  Submitted map

 

Proposed site for Crew practice facility revealed

By MARK SZAKONYI

Advocate Reporter

 

NEWARK -- It's mostly just open fields now, but Newark city officials envision a day when the more-than-100-acre site on the North End is filled with sights of diving headers and miraculous saves.  Newark won't find out until at least early August whether it will be a finalist for a Columbus Crew soccer training facility at the proposed site west of North 21st Street and partially split by Baker Boulevard.

 

"We can provide everything the Crew needs -- and then some," said Stephen Fowler, the city's economic development manager.  The Major League Soccer facility, tentatively named Alford-Reese Community Sports Park, would cost an estimated $27 million, according to the application. The majority of the construction costs will be for the creation of the 171,000-square-foot building with a full-size indoor field.

 

The building would feature locker rooms, a weight room, a training room, a lounge and an exam/massage room for the team, according to the application.  The site plan also calls for a 25- to 75-room hospitality building that would house visiting coaches and players, Fowler said.

 

Read more at http://www.newarkadvocate.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070606/NEWS01/706060302/1002/rss01

 

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From the 6/9/07 Dispatch:

 

 

Crew mulling sites for complex

Location of practice center could be chosen by August

Saturday,  June 9, 2007 3:32 AM

By Mike Pramik and Shawn Mitchell

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH 

 

Columbus and four other central Ohio communities have offered sites where a $30 million soccer training center for the Columbus Crew could be built.  The Crew wants to develop a complex that will include a a full-size indoor field, an outdoor Crew practice field, an outdoor field turf surface and 16 outdoor recreational fields. The Major League Soccer team also has proposed that a sports-medicine and physiotherapy clinic and retail developments be considered for the center. The city has proposed building the complex on grounds at Columbus Crew Stadium, even though Crew General Manager Mark McCullers said in November there might not be enough space there.

 

Others that submitted proposals for the comples are Canal Winchester, Delaware County, London and Newark.

 

In the running

Five central Ohio communities have proposed sites to host the planned Crew practice complex:

Columbus: various sites including Crew Stadium and Downtown

Canal Winchester: near Rt. 33 and Bixby Road

Delaware County: two sites proposed, one southwest of I-71 and Rts. 36/37 and the other northeast of Rt. 37 and Carter's Corner Road in Sunbury

London: along Rt. 42, between the city and I-70

Newark: near existing sports fields in the N. 21st Street area

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/business/stories/2007/06/09/Crew.ART_ART_06-09-07_C10_OQ6VKUM.html?type=rss&cat=7

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From ThisWeek Olentangy, 6/14/07:

 

 

Delaware County vying for new Crew facility

Thursday, June 14, 2007

By MARK MAJOR

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

Delaware County officials probably won't know for several weeks if their bids to host a planned practice facility for the Columbus Crew will survive the first cut.  Two Delaware County proposals were among seven received by Crew representatives by its June 1 deadline. One of those sites is near Sunbury; the other is west of Interstate 71, officials have said.

 

Two locations in London and one each in Newark, Canal Winchester and Columbus are also under consideration as possible homes for the proposed 97-acre facility, said Shannon Hamons, director of special projects for Pizzuti Solutions LLC, which is overseeing the project for Columbus' Major League Soccer team.

 

Read much more at http://www.thisweeknews.com/?story=sites/thisweeknews/061407/CanalWinchester/News/061407-News-369883.html

 

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Link contains photos.  From the 6/19/07 Dispatch:

 

 

Obetz won't be part of the Crew

New training center likely outside village; soccer fields to become park

Tuesday,  June 19, 2007 3:30 AM

By Jim Woods

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Obetz leaders considered it a coup in 1996 when they persuaded the Columbus Crew to place the team's practice facilities in the village.  But village officials now accept that the Crew's days are numbered in Obetz. The team wants to build a $30 million soccer training center featuring a full-size indoor field, a practice field and 16 outdoor recreational fields. Columbus, Canal Winchester, Delaware County, London and Newark are vying for the complex.

 

What the team desires is out of Obetz's league. "We don't have room for them here for the kind of facility they are looking for," said Village Administrator Douglas K. Browell. "We don't have the wherewithal." Obetz would lose $35,000 to $40,000 annually in lease and income-tax revenue if the team moves. The Crew's lease runs through 2009.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/dispatch/content/local_news/stories/2007/06/19/obetcrew.ART_ART_06-19-07_B1_Q3728DK.html

 

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From ThisWeek Big Walnut, 7/1/07:

 

 

Sunbury likely out of the running to host Crew facility

Sunday, July 1, 2007

MARK MAJOR

ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

In the competition to host a proposed Columbus Crew practice facility, Delaware County is still in the game, though Sunbury appears to be sidelined, county economic development director John Barron said last week.

 

Barron's comments came after a meeting Monday with Crew representatives to consider Delaware County's two proposed sites -- one near Sunbury and one west of Interstate 71.

 

While Crew representatives were excited about Delaware County as a possible site for the proposed 97-acre practice facility, they seemed less interested in the Sunbury site, Barron said.

 

Read more at http://www.thisweeknews.com/?story=sites/thisweeknews/070107/Sunbury/News/070107-News-379802.html

 

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Crew Stadium adds concert stage

Thursday,  January 10, 2008 3:04 AM

By Aaron Beck, The Columbus Dispatch

 

When Germain Amphitheater ended its season late last year, presumably for the final time, the outlook was bleak for fans of large outdoor concerts in central Ohio.  In the spring, though, the open-air, big-ticket concert forecast should improve with a new stage at Columbus Crew Stadium.  The construction, which will be privately funded, will cost more than $2 million. "We've talked about building a stage the last couple of years as we've done more shows," DeBolt said. "With Germain closing, it's pushed the project along."  Since it opened in 1999, Crew Stadium, home of Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew, has hosted eight big-name concerts, including three by Rascal Flatts.

 

crew_stage.jpg

 

Read more at http://dispatch.com/live/content/life/stories/2008/01/10/1A_CREW_STAGE_ART_01-10-08_D1_9P90UIL.html?sid=101

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Huh, well that's different.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I did not know that. Why place a soccer stadium of all things in the middle of nowhere with nothing nearby that you would walk to? You really have to go out of your way to for a soccer game. 

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ROCK ’N’ SOCCER

Crew Stadium reinvents itself as an amphitheater

by ERIK JOHNS / January 17, 2008

 

For years, Crew Stadium has hedged its bets with a slate of non-soccer events. But now comes the latest manifestation of the soccer-plus business plan: a new, half-finished permanent concert stage is rising over I-71 at the stadium’s north end.  When it’s completed, up to 30,000 music fans will fill the bowl and field. With the presumed closing of Germain Amphitheater 10 miles to the north, Crew Stadium has positioned itself as a major player in the Columbus concert scene.

 

When it opened in 1999, Crew Stadium was the first soccer-only stadium in the country. After voters in Dublin rejected a tax issue to build the Crew a home, legendary team owner Lamar Hunt—better known for founding football’s Kansas City Chiefs and coining the term “Super Bowl”—eventually stepped up and paid for the construction of the $28.5 million facility himself.

 

Read more at http://www.theotherpaper.com

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Crew narrowing field for proposed soccer complex

Friday, January 11, 2008

Business First of Columbus

By Jeff Bell, Business First

 

Hilliard, Delaware County and Columbus appear to have emerged as the leaders in the race to land the training and soccer complex the Columbus Crew wants built in Central Ohio.  The decision may not be made before the end of March, but proposals from those communities seem more conducive to the Major League Soccer club's plans, said Shannon Hamons, director of special projects for Pizzuti Solutions LLC.

 

Pizzuti is the owner's representative for the project, helping the Crew sort through proposals for a facility whose price tag has been estimated as high as $20 million.  The Crew has said it has outgrown its practice site in Obetz and wants to be in a new facility by the end of 2009.

 

In the works for more than a year, plans for the proposed complex call for training facilities for the Crew, a full-size indoor soccer field, outdoor practice areas for the team and up to 16 outdoor fields for youth and developmental soccer teams.  A sports medicine and retail development at the site have also been mentioned as possibilities.

 

Read more at http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2008/01/14/story4.html

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Crew will probably practice in Hilliard

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

BY MIKE PRAMIK AND SHAWN MITCHELL

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Hilliard has emerged as the likely site of a $19.5 million Columbus Crew practice facility and central Ohio youth soccer complex.  An official with Pizzuti Cos., which is representing the Crew in selecting a location for the planned project, said a 150-acre parcel of land next to Hilliard Municipal Park is being considered for the project.  It would include indoor and outdoor practice pitches for the Crew and eight lighted fields for youth-league players.

 

Shannon Hamons, Pizzuti's director of special projects, said a decision should be made by the end of June.  He said the Crew also is considering locations in Columbus and Delaware County.

 

Read more at http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2008/05/21/crew21.ART_ART_05-21-08_C1_NLA8QLS.html?sid=101

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Hilliard's goal: Land Crew's training facility

$500,000 included in capital budget for relocation project

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

By JEFF DONAHUE, ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

Mayor Don Schonhardt said Tuesday afternoon that he is "guardedly optimistic" that Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew will relocate its training facility from the Village of Obetz to Hilliard. "We're as optimistic as we can be at this point," Schonhardt said, less than 24 hours after $500,000 was included in the state capital bill to support the proposed relocation.

 

Schonhardt said Hilliard was not among the communities that originally answered a request for proposals for a new training facility.  However, he said Crew officials approached him shortly after the city announced plans to expand its soccer facilities adjacent to Hilliard Municipal Park.

 

Hilliard officials and representatives of Columbus-based Skilken Development are in the process of negotiating a 2-for-1 land swap where Skilken would transfer 60 acres adjacent to Municipal Park to the city in exchange for a nearby 29-acre site.  Plans call for the development of soccer fields on the 60-acre parcel while Skilken would develop a mixed use, commercial/office development on the 29-acre site.

 

MORE: http://www.thisweeknews.com/live/content/hilliard/stories/2008/05/14/crewfacility.html

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If Crew moves to Hilliard, HOSA will benefit

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

By JEFF DONAHUE, ThisWeek Staff Writer

 

If Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew moves its training facilities to Hilliard, there will be at least 2,500 winners, according to the head of the Hilliard Ohio Soccer Association (HOSA).  HOSA was formed in 1976 as the Ridgewood Optimists Club, a volunteer organization, to coordinate and govern soccer activities in the Hilliard area.  Over the years, HOSA has raised funds through community donations and pay-to-play fees, donations or the sale of soccer related clothing and supplies.

 

MORE: http://www.thisweeknews.com/live/content/hilliard/stories/2008/05/21/crew.html


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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Sound of music alive at Crew Stadium, Schott, Lifestyles this summer

Business First of Columbus - by Jeff Bell

Friday, May 16, 2008

 

The songs of summer will ring in Central Ohio in the coming months, but they'll be heard from different directions than Germain Amphitheater up north.  Crew Stadium, Nationwide Arena, the Jerome Schottenstein Center and Lifestyle Communities Pavilion will bid to fill a void left by the closing of the 14-year-old concert venue, put up for sale by Los Angeles-based Live Nation Inc., its owner.

 

Hunt Sports Group, which owns Crew Stadium and Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew, had for years considered building a permanent stage at the soccer stadium, McCullers said.  The closing of the amphitheater at Polaris helped cinch the decision to move ahead.

 

A stage will save Crew Stadium time and money; there will be no need to erect a temporary stage for shows, McCullers said.  Those savings and the ability to book concerts around the Crew's schedule should attract more acts, he said.  The first major event is May 17-18, when Rock on the Range returns after drawing capacity crowds of 30,000 a day last year.

 

Full article: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2008/05/19/story6.html

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An update of sorts from an article on possible new ownership for the Columbus Crew MLS team...

 

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Group looking at Crew drops Vegas idea

Thursday, October 16, 2008

By Shawn Mitchell, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

A planned training facility and community soccer complex will play a large role in the Crew's future, and McCullers said the prospective ownership partners are supportive of the team's ongoing effort to secure a public-private partnership to fund the project.  But progress has slowed, said officials in Hilliard and Delaware County, both of which have sites that McCullers said are still being considered for the project.  Other sites -- including Canal Winchester, Newark and London -- are no longer candidates.  Columbus has not been ruled out.

 

Read more at http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2008/10/16/crew16.ART_ART_10-16-08_C3_04BK7N8.html?sid=101

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An update on the long discussed expanded Crew soccer training facility proposal from the Monday Notes in the CrewXtra blog.

 

Bricks and mortar: The Crew is expected to exercise its option on a five-year lease extension at its current training complex and remain in Obetz while it pursues a new facility.  A site for a new complex has yet to be chosen and completion of a first phase of construction is at minimum two years away.  Delaware County (I-71 and Rtes. 36/37) and Hilliard are among the potential sites that remain.  If the Crew could get a suitable facility built before the end of its Obetz lease the club would continue to use the Obetz site for non-first team purposes.

 

Full article at http://blog.dispatch.com/crew/2009/09/mondays_notes.shtml

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Good news on the Crew parking lot front.  According to this article from Business First - "Crew gets paving wish (finally)" - it appears that the grass parking areas east of Crew Stadium will become paved parking areas.  The State of Ohio, which owns the land, has finally agreed to fund the paving project.  Unforunately, because it is a State of Ohio project, the design, bidding and permitting process will push the project completion out to October 2010.  So it looks like one more season of muddy parking for some unlucky Crew fans. 

 

Below is a 2005 photo of Crew Stadium that shows the grass parking lots to be paved. 

 

404581-0-0-1.jpg

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Crew Cuts: New ways to watch

Thursday,  May 13, 2010

By Chris DeVille, The Columbus Dispatch

 

Two new views for the Crew: The north-end stage and the Huntington Club.  Back when the club eradicated its north-end stands to build a permanent concert stage before the 2008 season, members of the super-fan supporters clubs were irked about the removal of their favorite sections.  Of course, the groups banded together in the northeast corner to form the Nordecke, one of the loudest, proudest supporters sections in MLS.

 

Now fans have the option of returning to the north end, but not due to a new set of bleachers.  The Crew has opened up the stage as a patio and beer garden, easily accessible from the adjacent sections.  It's a fun alternative for fans who want to mill and mingle but stay close to the action.

 

The Huntington Club, meanwhile, is still a work in progress.  Previously a closed-off facility reserved for special events, the club is now open to the public and will function like an English pub when construction is completed this summer.

 

Full article and photos: http://www.crewxtra.com/live/content/features/stories/2010/05/13/crew-cuts-new-ways-to-watch.html?sid=108

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Michael Arace commentary: In praise of Crew Stadium

Monday,  May 17, 2010

By Michael Arace

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

Crew Stadium celebrated its 11th birthday in style Saturday night, when the incomparable Guillermo Barros Schelotto rifled in a penalty kick in the 90th minute to give the Black & Gold a 1-0 victory over Chivas USA.  A crowd of 15,000 inhaled and went quiet as Schelotto lined up his shot.  And when the adidas Jabulani struck the back of the net, there came the exhale: a sharp, abrupt and joyous roar.  Happy birthday, (Insert Naming Rights Here) Crew Stadium.  Given that gifts of steel are traditional on 11th anniversaries, it is fitting to reflect on our soccer-specific stadium, for it has been a gift of steel for so many.

 

At one time, the local MLS game was nothing more than a relatively cheap night of family entertainment.  Now, there is a more of a European/South American feel to the matches - more gravitas, if you will.  The staunchest fans are well-versed in the game and highly organized in their support.  Whether Crew Stadium is holding 13,000 or 23,000, the always-packed Nordecke supplies an electrical current that crackles in a constant circuit around the bowl.  It is a unique experience in the panorama of North American sport.  Our children are teaching us what it is like to be plugged in to the world's game.

 

It all started here, at Crew Stadium, despite all odds.  The idea of a soccer-specific stadium was struck down in two different referendums: in Franklin County in 1997 and in Dublin in 1998.  The stadium ultimately was built in 274 days, at a cost of $28.5 million, footed entirely by the late owner, Lamar Hunt.  It opened on May 15, 1999.

 

Full article: http://www.crewxtra.com/live/content/sports/stories/2010/05/17/in-praise-of-crew-stadium.html?sid=101

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From Columbus Alive:  Some more information on the status of the parking lot paving project for the existing grass lots around Crew Stadium.  Previous update is here.  Technically, the State of Ohio is in charge of this work because the land is part of the State Fairgrounds property.  But the Crew has been pushing them to get this done.

 

Parking? Lots!

 

After more than a decade of mud puddles and red tape, the Crew has begun work on the first phase of a $5 million construction project to improve the parking situation outside Crew Stadium.  Grading, drainage and paving work is expected to be completed in a lot directly south of Crew Stadium before the Ohio State Fair begins July 28.  A second phase will pave additional lots north, west and east of the stadium between the end of the fair on Aug. 8 and the Oct. 2 launch of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress.

 

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Columbus Crew looks to translate success into greater support, new stadium

Business First of Columbus - by Jeff Bell

Friday, August 27, 2010

 

Clark Hunt thinks his late father would be happy about how the Columbus Crew is faring on the field – and with fans – in its 15th year as a Major League Soccer franchise.  The team’s 12-5-4 record is among the league’s best for the third straight year.  Attendance through 11 home games at Crew Stadium is up nearly 5 percent from a year earlier.  Lamar Hunt, a pioneer in the old American Football League, was a founding father of Major League Soccer in 1996 and owned the Crew until he died in 2006 at age 74.

 

Located on the state-owned Ohio Expo Center fairgrounds, Crew Stadium once was the only stadium in Major League Soccer built solely for soccer.  Today, nine of the league’s 16 venues are soccer-specific with more under development.  Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers said Crew Stadium remains an iconic soccer site, but the team needs to look out five to 10 years for its facility needs.  The club continues to seek a site for a new practice facility, possibly on Columbus’ suburban east side, he said, and it remains interested in finding a downtown location, especially in the Arena District, for a stadium.

 

MORE: http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2010/08/30/story2.html?b=1283140800^3863121#

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cols_proposed5.jpg

 

Hmmm...looks like we'll have to tear down all those new offices and condominiums NRI just built.  :drunk:

 

Seriously though, the concept of a new soccer stadium that is up to par with the recently completed venues across the country is exciting. The obvious choice for a location is downtown. Areas that have been mentioned are the cleared-out area west of Huntington Park where the Hollywood Casino was planned on being constructed, or in Franklinton by Veterans Memorial connected to the AD via pedestrian bridge. Both areas sound fantastic in my opinion. Hopefully the stars align for this to take place sooner rather than later.

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The Columbus Crew received approval from the City of Columbus to build a $2 million, 100-foot-tall sign tower along I-71 that would feature two large LED screens.  The sign tower would be located immediately south of Crew Stadium.  But according to the below linked article from the Dispatch, the Crew wouldn't build the giant sign tower until it sells the naming rights to Crew Stadium - the top of the sign would feature that sponsor’s name.

 

The sign still needs approval from the Ohio Expositions Commission, which manages the Crew Stadium property for the State of Ohio.

 

Below is a rendering of the proposed sign tower and an article from the Columbus Dispatch about it:

 

crewsign-art-gfsha8ol-1crew-sign--jpg.jpg

 

Columbus Dispatch: Massive I-71 sign OK’d for Crew

 

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In some ways I really like this idea. Its a very good way to show companies that their sponsorship dollars will not only be tied to the stadium but also give them front row advertising along busy I-71.The video boards would also be helpful in advertising events going on in crew stadium such as games or concerts which would also help the expo center. I feel that building this tower may be a sign that the crew feel a new stadium is a long ways off but it probably is smart to gain more sponsorship money long before attempting to secure funding for a new stadium.

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