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Columbus Foundation Crew Stadium Plan Had Similarities To City's Offer, Ginther Says

Adora Namigadde

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther says many of the details in a now-retracted stadium proposal from the CEO of the Columbus Foundation were presented to the owner of the Columbus Crew in a meeting last week.

Monday, Columbus Foundation CEO Doug Kridler released a detailed plan for a 21,000 seat Spirit of Columbus Park between 5th and 6th streets. Just 24 hours after releasing the plan, he retracted it and apologized for its lack of feasibility. 

Ginther says much of the plan was presented to Crew owner Anthony Precourt and Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber.

“We talked about several different sites, many that had been reported throughout the city,” Ginther says. “We talked about different opportunities for different local investors and again repeated to offer to buy the team from Mr. Precourt.”

Ginther says he and Fischer asked Precourt to commit to Columbus.

“The only condition we made was stop pursuing Austin and commit to Columbus. Columbus is a community that’s built on partnerships, relationships and commitments,” Ginther said. “And we’re not getting in a bidding war with another great American city.”

Precourt announced last month that his company Precourt Sports Ventures would move the Crew to Austin, Texas after the 2018 season unless a new stadium was built downtown.  

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.