Prospective Columbus Crew SC Ownership Unveils Plans for New Stadium

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Columbus Crew SC Ownership
COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 11: Columbus Crew fans celebrate after the MLS regular season game between the Columbus Crew SC and the Houston Dynamo on August 11, 2018 at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, OH. The Crew won 1-0. (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Columbus, Ohio (December 6, 2018) — A new era continues to take shape for Columbus Crew SC.

The latest example came on Thursday when the new ownership group that includes Pete Edwards and Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam announced plans for a new downtown facility to replace MAPFRE Stadium.

“This is the next step in what some may have thought was an impossible dream,” president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, Alex Fischer, mentioned in a media release. “Today’s announcement showcases our community’s commitment, in partnership with the Haslam and Edwards Families, to MLS soccer in Columbus. The creativity behind this one-of-a-kind public-private partnership brings together a vision for a new stadium with a broader community development plan. Columbus will be the national standard-bearer of what defines collaborative relationships between professional sports teams and their communities.”

The new stadium will contain a 20,000-seat capacity and come at a cost of $230 million. It will be part of a 33-acre expansion of the Arena District in downtown Columbus, which also includes Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. According to Tristan Navera of Columbus Business First, the new ownership group is prepared to invest as much as $645 million in the project.

These developments come just one day after plans for the redevelopment of the MAPFRE Stadium and surrounding environs were announced. It essentially involves repurposing the area into a multi-sports complex that will include basketball courts, indoor and outdoor soccer fields, and an MLS-level training pitch.

The Columbus City Council will conduct a hearing on the MAPFRE Stadium redevelopment plan on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. ET.

The team’s prospective new owners emphasized their commitment not only to prevent a potential relocation but also playing a part in continued urban revitalization in Columbus. It began with the original announcement in October and continues with these latest developments.

“We are thrilled with the tremendous progress that has been achieved in this short period of time to keep the Crew in Columbus while creating a long-term plan that will greatly benefit the community,” the Haslems and Edwards stated in a media release. “The vision for a shared community sports park is especially exciting as the opportunity to more deeply engage Columbus youth with soccer and other sports is so valuable.”

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