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Columbus Crew SC releases new renderings of downtown stadium

NewDowntownCrewStadium_SoutheastPlaza.jpg
Columbus Crew SC released updated renderings of the upcoming downtown Stadium Sept. 24, 2019. Groundbreaking is happening Oct. 10, 2019. (Columbus Crew SC)

Fans saw another glimpse of what the new home of the Columbus Crew SC will look like Tuesday after renderings for the new downtown stadium were unveiled.

Team officials said the new, $230 million stadium would feature a wrap-around roof designed to amplify fan noise and unique stands that reflect Columbus' diverse neighborhoods.

"It is a modern, Midwestern icon is how we like to describe it," said Steve Lyons, the chief business officer for the Columbus Crew SC. "We think about Columbus being an iconic city within the Midwest. We think about the stadium as an iconic building within the framework of Columbus."

Outside of the stadium, a 40,000 square-foot space will be made open to the public on matchdays and non-event days. The plaza is expected to host host food trucks, concerts, farmers market, art festivals, food festivals, outdoor theater, fitness classes, futsal/outdoor soccer, cultural events, movie nights, and more.

The stadium will also include a beer garden and brew hall which will be open even on days when the Crew SC don't have a game.

“Whether you’re a pure soccer fan or a curious observer, this is going to draw people from all walks of life to come and enjoy a Columbus Crew SC match," Lyons said.

Experts in sport management said Mapfre Stadium, the longtime home of the club, has legitimate problems attracting both casual and passionate fans. Its isolation from other bars and restaurants doesn't add to the game-day experience.

“It terms of turning a new page and moving past some of the critiques, ‘Columbus can’t support a team’, ‘there’s not the interest in the business community’, ‘we don’t have a good stadium’, they’re putting all those things behind us and starting anew with this plan," said Megan Chawansky, an assistant professor of sport management at Otterbein University. “There are a lot of little things they’re doing (with the new stadium) to create an environment and an atmosphere where people want to be there. People might feel left out if they don’t go. I think you always want to create that moment.”

The public has been invited to the stadium groundbreaking on Oct. 10. The first 500 will receive a commemorative shovel. The team will continue to play at Mapfre Stadium until midway through the 2021 season. Mapfre Stadium will be converted into a community park and training facility for the team.

ABC 6/FOX 28 will continue to follow the latest on the downtown stadium.

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