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Mayor Ginther Denies Reports Of Higher City Spending On Crew Stadium

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther
Jay LaPrete
Associated Press

Mayor Andrew Ginther is pushing back against reports that the city is spending almost double the amount of public money it originally proposed for the Columbus Crew stadium.

Originally, city officials said they would spend $50 million on developing infrastructure for the Crew stadium and surrounding Confluence Village.

However,The Columbus Dispatchcites documents and emails between city and Crew officials to support its conclusion that the city is actually spending $98 million on the development, with half going towards costs labeled "Other Projects."

According to the paper, those projects include building a 600-car parking garage next to the proposed stadium, environmental remediation, installing power lines and other infrastructure improvements.

Ginther declined to comment on specifics of the Dispatch report, but he argues their $98 million figure is inaccurate.  

“It's an incomplete story,” Ginther says. “And when you think about it, I have always said from the beginning, and you and I have talked about this, I'm not putting a dime or cent of city money into the construction of that new stadium.”

Of the city's commitment, Ginther says $38 million will go towards renovating MAPFRE into a community sports park, and that the other $12 million will go into infrastructure around the stadium.

“You gotta understand there's stadium infrastructure investments that we're making, and then there's district infrastructure investments that we're making,” Ginther says.

The Columbus Crew breaks ground on its new stadium Thursday, October 10. But as of Wednesday afternoon, the team does not yet own the land.

“I think they continue on with negotiations with the current owner,” Ginther says. “But all things seem positive, just haven't been able to finalize that, at least based on what I know.”

Ginther says he has full faith and confidence that the team "will figure something out."

The total cost of the Crew stadium is currently pegged at $230 million. It's scheduled to open by 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.