The Columbus Partnership and the potential new ownership group of Major League Soccer (MLS) team Columbus Crew SC have revealed plans for a new US$230 million, 20,000-seater stadium in Ohio.
The consortium, which is led by Pete Edwards, Jr. and Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam, are committing more than $645 million to the project, according to Columbus Business First.
The new stadium would be located at a 33-acre riverfront site at the far west end of the Arena District neighbourhood and feature 885 new residences, a riverfront park and other business ventures.
As part of the plans, Mapfre Stadium, the club’s current home, would be remodelled into a practice facility with a community sports park built around it.
‘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 Haslams and Edwards said in a joint statement. ‘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.’
The move forms part of wider plans to keep the Columbus Crew in Ohio. The team was facing a possible move to Austin, Texas before the intervention of the Haslams and Edwards.
Commenting on the proposals, MLS commissioner Don Garber, said: “To ensure the long-term success of Crew SC, and for the club to remain in Columbus, a critical component of our discussions has been plans for a new stadium, as well as increased fan and corporate support. We hope to see these essential elements finalised soon.”
President and chief executive of the Columbus Partnership, Alex Fischer, added: “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.”