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Columbus Crew To Break Ground On New Stadium October 10

Columbus Crew players celebrate the game-winning goal after an MLS playoff soccer game against Atlanta United, in Atlanta, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.
Danny Karnik
Associated Press
Columbus Crew players celebrate the game-winning goal after an MLS playoff soccer game against Atlanta United, in Atlanta, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.

Columbus Crew SC will break ground on its new, $230 million downtown stadium Thursday, October 10.

The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. and include food trucks and music. The first 500 supporters will receive a commemorative groundbreaking mini-shovel, according to a press release from the team.

The team also posted a teaser video on Twitter with the date "10.10.2019."

A downtown Crew stadium was a major component of negotiations to keep the team in Columbus. When Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, the Edwards family and the Columbus Partnership teamed up to purchase the franchise from former owner Anthony Precourt, the group agreed that the team needed to move from its current home at MAPFRE Stadium.

City leaders announcedthat the stadium would be 430,000 sq. ft. and include 1,900 club seats and 30 suits. It would also have a wrap-around roof, a major element of most modern Major League Soccer stadiums that MAPFRE lacks.

The new stadium is slated to be part of Confluence Village, a mixed-use residential and business park just west of Huntington Park. This week, Columbus City Council appointedfive members to the Confluence Development Authority, which is tasked with overseeing the project.

Major hurdles still remain. For one, current Crew owner Haslam Sports Group has not yet bought the parcel of land it wants in the Arena District: 650 West Nationwide Boulevard. It's the only available land remaining in the area.

In June, Haslam Sports Group vice president Ted Tywang told WOSU, "We are close to finalizing a transaction for the land. We expect that to be wrapped up very soon."

Tywang said August 15 was a target date for a land-purchase agreement with Nationwide Realty Investors, but that it was not a hard deadline. Nationwide Realty Investors declined to comment.

A draft documentfrom the city of Columbus estimates that public funding for the stadium will total $140 million. Under the agreement, the developer is required to match that amount in private dollars.

Team owners expect the new stadium to open in July 2021.

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.
Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.