© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Columbus Crew Stadium Plan Relies On More Public Money

City of Columbus
An artist's rendering of the stadium planned for the Arena District.

More than eight months after Columbus city leaders proudly announced a plan to "Save the Crew,” they’ve released an aspirational draft agreement detailing how they plan to do so.The 127-page document emailed by Mayor Andrew Ginther’s office on Monday says construction calls for $140 million in public money, including funding from the city, Franklin County, and the state of Ohio. The $140 million figure is up from previous estimates of about $115 million.

Columbus City Council is expected to discuss the plan on Monday, June 24.

The deal also makes it clear that not all of the land needed for the stadium near Huntington Park has been obtained. The agreement says the parties involved “agree to use best efforts to cause the conveyance” of all necessary land before what the deal calls a “funding date.” That funding date is listed as August 15 of this year.

The document says the city, county, and developer Crew SC Stadium Company will form an authority to oversee the new stadium, as well as the redevelopment of the Crew’s current home, Mapfre Stadium, into a multi-use sports complex.

The agreement’s schedule lists a “stadium substantial completion” date of July 1, 2021. It says the scheduled completion date for the first phase of the redevelopment of Mapfre Stadium is June 30, 2022. The document does not list a start or finish date for the second phase of the sports complex, instead listing it as “to be determined by City.”

The #SavetheCrew movement started in October 2017 when then-owner Anthony Precourt announced plans to move his soccer club to Austin, Texas. Precourt cited the need for a downtown stadium to fix what he called "unsustainable" situations with attendance and corporate support.

The potential move promoted a massive grassroots movement to keep the team in Columbus. Almost exactly one year later, Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam announced plans to buy the team along with former team doctor Pete Edwards, Jr.