Idea: Relocating Crew Stadium to the Arena District
- May 18, 2016 4:25 pm at 4:25 pm #1127198
I used to hate the location of Crew Stadium, but now I kinda love it (I hate the parking price though). It’s pretty unique to see how many people actually walk to the stadium from the surrounding area to the West of the stadium. It kind of is like Wrigley, or any other old baseball stadium, in that it is sort of situated in an urban neighborhood type setting. I do wish the immediate surrounding area could be improved but I think development will start to spread east from High Street toward the stadium which should help the area out. I would have no issue with keeping it in its current location as long as they can make improvements to the stadium itself.May 18, 2016 5:26 pm at 5:26 pm #1127212
While I agree with you, imagine that same experience and the type of effect it would have downtown. The CBJ are great, and fill restaurants and bars on game days but a soccer crowd is far different, the atmosphere on game-days would have the potential to be something on par with what goes on in Seattle for Sounders games.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a special place in my heart for Crew stadium but the change it could have on the perception of the club within the city may be worth the move alone.May 18, 2016 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #1127216
So Lowe’s, the State Fairgrounds, and I-71 all count as a neighborhood? Likening this to the area surrounding Wrigley in Chicago seems like a stretch. A very long one.
In any case, I don’t see any of the romantic/nostalgic appeal you suggest. You can’t even see the downtown skyline much from where Crew Stadium is located. It might be in Columbus, but we kinda say the same thing about Polaris too.
Moving the team and stadium downtown to the Arena District would definitely be a huge improvement for them both on multiple fronts.May 18, 2016 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #1127223
Crew stadium actually has an awesome view of downtown. The neighborhood I’m talking about is the thousands of young people that live less than an a mile to the west of the stadium. I’m assuming you don’t make it out to many games, NEOBuckeye, but I go to almost every home game. There are probably about 1,500 fans that actually walk to the game from the University area. Comparing the Crew to the Jackets is kind of apples to oranges. They cater to fairly different fan bases, although there is obviously overlap. I think moving the stadium downtown would have positive and negative impacts. The biggest drawback is tailgating, it’s a huge part of the culture with Crew fans. That won’t be happening downtown.May 18, 2016 8:14 pm at 8:14 pm #1127224
Maybe it’s where I sit. I’ll grant you the tailgating culture, though. You are on point as far as that not being duplicated Downtown.May 18, 2016 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #1127229
I’ve said it alot, but there are very few reasons I would support a move downtown. The proposal would have to be just right. I want the city, state, and private entities involved to come up with a comprehensive plan to redevelop the whole area where it currently sits. A stadium village as it were. Everything south of Hudson and north of 17th can be torn down with the exception of the fairground facilities and the Ohio Historical Center. you could even leave the highway patrol academy but I lean toward moving it. Redevelop all the lots and parking and add thousands of residents to the other thousands of residents just west of the railroad tracks. A grand entrance off Hudson welcoming you to this distinct area and viola, stadium village.
The idea of “If you bring it downtown you get more foot traffic” may apply to workers but it’s current location already serves well for proximity to the densest district in the city and adding more residential units to the east of the tracks furthers that. Not to mention, if rail is ever a possibility, whether the line is on the 71 ROW, Rail ROW, Summit or 4th, they are all easily accessible from it’s current location.
*Edit: Frankly, everything north of the railroad tracks south of 11th to Hudson needs to be rethought, including the fairgrounds themselves. We could bulldoze most of these fairgrounds and start over with a real master plan for the whole area and I’d be happy.May 18, 2016 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm #1127253
^ Know what brings in far more money than Crew soccer, the All American Quarter Horse Congress. In less than one month it pumps in about $200m to the local economy. The proposal above would effectively kill that off.May 18, 2016 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm #1127259
^ Know what brings in far more money than Crew soccer, the All American Quarter Horse Congress. In less than one month it pumps in about $200m to the local economy. The proposal above would effectively kill that off.
Sorry for the confusion. The fairgrounds would remain in tact, with a better overall layout. I loathe our state fairgrounds. It’s so haphazardly put together and frankly unappealing. I’m well aware of the impact of the quarter horse congress and in fact, a better plan for everything in the area I’m talking about could even improve the experience for that event. I’m essentially playing Sims with that area. The “Stadium Village” would essentially be north of the fairgrounds property but the rest would be redeveloped with the fairgrounds and expo center as central points. The area immediately surrounding the crew stadium is several Jeffrey Parks alone.May 18, 2016 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm #1127267
I think it’s a long shot. But I’d still prefer Crew Stadium be close to downtown:
1) Mapfre Stadium may host events, but it’s still terrible for big crowds. Terrible traffic out, not enough bathrooms, huge bottlenecks at the entrance
2) If we’re bringing 10-20K, it’s a waste to me to not drive pre/post game retail. And that foot traffic would really benefit downtown retail
3) I’ve seen too many big games with empty seats. At the current location, they’ll always struggle to pull in casual fans. It’s a hassle to get there and anyone not within walking distance is going to drive there… often drunk.
4) Seems like a great opportunity to bring more outdoor events/festivals downtown
I get why people like the stadium. It pulls in diehards, tailgating is awesome, and the psychological international advantage. It’s not a terrible option. I just think we’re wasting opportunities for Crew Stadium to benefit Columbus and I look at the wild success of Portland/Kansas City and even Huntington Park, and feel Columbus could easily do the same.May 19, 2016 10:46 am at 10:46 am #1127302
I love Crew/Mapfre Stadium as much as the next person – it truly is a venerable structure for fans of the sport, not just those of us in Columbus, since it’s hosted so many big national team matches and its construction was a turning point in the development of MLS. That said, from my perspective, it’s hard to see the club’s long-term viability being well-served by continuing to play there. The first 25 year lease for the land on which the stadium sits expires in the next 7-8 years. The team reportedly has an option for another 25 years… I don’t know, that stadium pushing 50 years old is hard to imagine. Plus there are summer scheduling issues with the state fair and in autumn with the quarter horse congress; lack of control over much of the parking revenue; and the aforementioned issues with the location being in an area that can’t ever develop as an entertainment zone.
Despite its low price tag, Lamar Hunt made some very good decisions in the design of the stadium; some of the ones that followed it into the league – and cost a lot more – don’t have nearly the positive reputation among fans as does Crew Stadium. Still, I’d love for the club to eventually move downtown, and I’d expect – if it’s to happen – to hear talk to plans/negotiations, as the current lease starts to wind down. I’d like to think that – over the next decade – multi-modal public transportation will creep close top becoming a reality in Columbus. A stadium well served by public transport would be wonderful.May 19, 2016 10:58 am at 10:58 am #1127304
Spot on DouginCMHMay 19, 2016 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm #1127330
While I love the stadium village idea, and the importance of the Fairgrounds staying put and being improved/renovated, the arguments for the stadium to come downtown are still more persuasive to me–especially the long-term viability piece.
These next 5 years will see so many changes in our city, and I suspect this will be another one. The considerable chunk of land along 71 where the stadium and historical center and fairgrounds sit are ripe for refreshing and redesigning for more efficient and effective use. If there is room for a soccer stadium downtown, a “stadium village” may work there as well. It’s not dissimilar, broadly, from what the Arena District was intended to be and has largely become.May 19, 2016 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm #1127343
Downtown is the only way to go in building a new stadium.
No development is going to be squeezed in the gap between the tracks, 71 and the fairgrounds.
We will be at CCS until the 25 year lease is up, and then if the team is smart they take the option and then immediately begin planning the new stadium. From there they can retain CCS for events like Rock on the range, Random HS, MAC or State championship games and move the Crew.
In my dream fantasy world the Crew build a new stadium snug against the tracks opposite the buggy works that can leverage the parking already available in the arena district.
From here you can develop the land around the site into a “Crewville”, patterned after wrigglyville, along with NRI and other developers interested in that block of the Arena District/Penn West.
Concerns about vehicle access are pretty easily solved with a few street improvements plus the fact that even those who drive in to the games will walk the short distance from existing parking structures. Plus if the “Crewville” actually comes to fruition a smaller scale Cbus route running from High down Nationwide Blvd to the Scioto and back could be added.
This is all my fantasy world but I see the benefits NRI gains in an anchor to their Penn West plans as a huge plus. On top of that the exposure the team gets and the change in neighborhood for casual fans will be tremendous.
-The Team gains a boost from the new venue and location.
-The Fans retain walkablity
-Minimal new parking is needed (Tailgating areas can be easily added, though I imagine a Bar culture would emerge)
-The city gains a new an interesting neighborhood.
[/Simcity daydream]May 19, 2016 1:02 pm at 1:02 pm #1127347
No development is going to be squeezed in the gap between the tracks, 71 and the fairgrounds.
I don’t think *squeezed* is the right term. The area described is about 5 times the size of Jeffrey park. Plenty of space to *squeeze* in surrounding development.May 19, 2016 1:19 pm at 1:19 pm #1127349
The idea of turning the tailgating culture into a bar culture would have a negative impact for many people. The first issue I see is there are a lot of families that get to the stadium early to tailgate. The parents grill and have a few drinks while the kids play soccer and eat. That will obviously be wiped away. Also, tailgating is much cheaper than the bars. You can bring your own beer and food for much less than going to the bar. I think if they can update the stadium, get the fairgrounds to knock down the price of parking, fix traffic flow problems before and after games, and pave the rest of the parking area I would have no issue with the team staying where they are right now.
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