Columbus City Council okays proposal for new stadium



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Columbus Crew new stadium Image: Columbus Partnership

The Columbus City Council unanimously approved a proposal for a new downtown stadium for Columbus Crew SC recently, a key aspect of the plan for the group led by Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam and Dr. Peter H. Edwards Jr. seeking to purchase Crew SC and build them a new home as part of a large mixed-use development project at the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers, mlssoccer.com reported.

The council’s 6-0 vote gives the nod to a memorandum of understanding wherein the city will contribute $50 million towards site development and infrastructure for the stadium, a $230-million, 20,000-capacity venue on a 33-acre site which will also include a riverfront park, nearly 1,000 new residence units and office and commercial space, the report stated.

Under the current plans, the Haslam-led group would be investing more than $600 million in the overall project. The proposal also includes a repurposing of Crew SC’s current home, historic MAPFRE Stadium, into a community sports park.

“We continue to be very encouraged with the significant progress made in Columbus by the Haslam and Edwards families and the Columbus Partnership,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said when the “Confluence Village” proposal was released last week.

“To ensure the long-term success of Crew SC, and for the Club to remain in Columbus, a critical component of our discussions has been plans for a new stadium, as well as increased fan and corporate support. We hope to see these essential elements finalized soon. While there is work to be completed, we commend Mayor Ginther, Alex Fischer, the City, the County, and all who are engaged in this process, which we believe will deliver great benefits to Crew fans and the Columbus community for generations to come.”

Earlier in December, plans were revealed for the new downtown stadium.

“This is the next step in what some may have thought was an impossible dream,” said Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership said in a media release. The “announcement showcases our community’s commitment, in partnership with the Haslam and Edwards Families, to MLS soccer in Columbus. The creativity behind this one-of-a-kind public-private partnership brings together a vision for a new stadium with a broader community development plan. Columbus will be the national standard-bearer of what defines collaborative relationships between professional sports teams and their communities.”

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