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Columbus Crew Stadium
Crew Stadium
Colcrewstadlogo.png
Columbus crew stadium mls allstars 2005.jpg
Location 1 Black And Gold Boulevard, Columbus, Ohio 43211
Coordinates 40°0′34″N 82°59′28″W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111Coordinates: 40°0′34″N 82°59′28″W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111
Broke ground 1998
Opened May 15, 1999
Owner Hunt Sports Group
Operator Lamar Hunt
Surface Grass
Construction cost $28.5 million
Architect NBBJ
Capacity 23,425[1]
Field dimensions 115 × 75 yards
Tenants
Columbus Crew (MLS) (1999-present)
OHSAA Soccer Championships (2000-present)
Columbus Public Schools Boys Soccer City Championship (2001-present)

Columbus Crew Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Contents

Origins

As a charter franchise in Major League Soccer (MLS), the Columbus Crew commenced play at Ohio Stadium in MLS's inaugural season of 1996. As it is principally an American football stadium, the facility was never popular with the team or its fans. When renovations to the American football stadium forced the Crew out, their owner, oil billionaire Lamar Hunt, decided to build the team its own dedicated home. Thus, Crew Stadium was born — purpose-built for the Columbus Crew in the winter of 1998-99. The construction cost of $28.5 million was covered entirely with private funds from Mr. Hunt and his Hunt Sports group.

The stadium seats approximately 22,500 (with room to expand to 30,000 total seats) and is located on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds. Crew Stadium opened May 15, 1999 with a match between the home side and the New England Revolution. It is the second soccer-specific stadium in the United States (the USL First Division's Charleston Battery opened its soccer-specific stadium, Blackbaud Stadium, on April 24, 1999) and the first in Major League Soccer (including a FIFA regulation 115 × 75 yard pitch), and has been credited with inspiring the wave of construction of soccer-specific stadiums throughout the league.

Events

In addition to hosting the Crew's home games, the stadium has hosted numerous United States men's and women's national team matches (most notably, the 2001 World Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico known as La Guerra Fria due to sub-freezing temperatures), the 2001 MLS Cup championship, the 2000 and 2005 MLS All-Star Games, the 2001 and 2003 NCAA Men's College Cup national football championships, and the 2003 Women’s World Cup. It was the host stadium for the 2002 Major League Lacrosse championship game. Crew stadium has also hosted games for the Ohio High School State Championship tournaments in both American football and soccer. It also hosts the annual Westerville Football Classic, featuring the Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South, and New Albany football teams.

The stadium also hosts numerous concerts annually, including Rock on the Range, an annual festival of performances by rock bands, and concerts by Rascal Flatts to close out the Ohio State Fair in 2006 and 2007. A permanent stage has been built in the north end of the stadium to accommodate concerts after the closing of Germain Amphitheater.

Notes

  • The stadium features a 384 ft² (36 m²) video board as well as a 32 ft (10 m) of scrolling matrix board.
  • It took 274 days from groundbreaking to the inaugural game (9 months, 1 day).
  • The stadium is also 48 ft (15 m) tall at its highest point and is built on a 15 acre (61,000 m²) site.
  • The first goal was scored by Jeff Cunningham during the inaugural game.[2]
  • Official stadium capacity is reported to be 20,555. However, the capacity was temporarily expanded for an MLS regular season game on October 4, 2008 against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Reported attendance for that date was 22,685.[3]
  • On February 11, 2009 the stadium hosted the United States Men's National Team vs. Mexico for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with expanded seating on the stage and south end. Attendance was 23,776.[4]
  • The U.S. Men's National Team has never lost a game played at Columbus Crew Stadium, and have allowed only one goal against (as of April, 2009).

References

External links

Preceded by
Ohio Stadium
Home of the
Columbus Crew

1999 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
RFK Stadium
Host of the MLS Cup
2001
Succeeded by
Gillette Stadium
Preceded by
Kennedy Stadium
Host of Major League Lacrosse championship game
2002
Succeeded by
Villanova Stadium
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