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PHOTOS: Columbus Crew Release New Images Of Downtown Stadium

Columbus Crew SC executives have released a new set of renderings for the proposed downtown stadium complex, ahead of their presentation to the Downtown Area Commission on Tuesday.

The $230 million, 20,000-seat stadium will sit just west of Huntington Park in the Arena District and features a canopy that will cover all attendees – a feature of most modern soccer parks that the Crew lacks in their current home at MAPFRE Stadium.

"You're gonna feel it," Crew chief business officer Steve Lyons said of walking into the stadium. "When you step up and overlook into the stadium and walk down into the bowl, the pitch, it's gonna be a feeling that I think will be additive from the moment you walk into the stadium grounds."

According to a Crewpress release, the stadium's north side will include the fan's Nordecke section and boast a beer garden, the first of its kind in Major League Soccer. The south side, where the video board is located, will also have a 5,000-square-foot brew pub with views of downtown. The beer hall will be open on non-match days.

“Our goal is for Crew SC’s new downtown stadium to be among the top sports facilities in the nation,” said Tim Bezbatchenko, Crew SC president and general manager, in a statement. “We see our new home as becoming an integral part of Columbus’ downtown.

Outside the stands, a 40,000-square-foot community plaza on the southeast end will provide space for concerts and other public events. The stadium area will be part of the larger Confluence Village, a mixed-use residential and business park.

"It is a modern, Midwestern icon is how we like to describe it. We think about Columbus as an iconic city within the Midwest, and we think about the stadium as an iconic building within the framework of Columbus," Lyons said. "As you look at the materials we use, it's kind of a nice juxtaposition to compliment the existing materiality of the Arena District, but in a new, modern way that we think will be an iconic representation of the new vision for the Columbus Crew."

Since announcing the team's purchase last year, city officials and Haslam Sports Group have been moving quickly to secure the stadium, a major requirement for the deal. Columbus City Council recently approved the creation of a Community Authority to aid in paying off bonds issued for the stadium, and appointed five people to the Confluence Development Authority, which will oversee the project.

In August, the Downtown Commission approved the destruction of nine abandoned building on the city-owned portion of the site. However, most of the land for the park is not yet owned by the team, although Crew executives say they are close to finalizing the purchase.

At Tuesday's meeting, the Downtown Commission asked Crew executives to give a future presentation on its plans for signs and lights at the stadium complex.

The Crew will host a groundbreaking at the stadium site on October 10, and hopes to play in the stadium by July 2021.

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.
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.