‘The Crew’ unlock renderings of new home

Video: Columbus Crew SC (YouTube)

Columbus CrewMajor League Soccer (MLS) franchise – has unlocked new renderings for its new under-development stadium, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021.

The soccer club has also unveiled the logo of its under-construction Downtown Stadium the price tag of which is US$230m (GBP£188.6m/€213.1m). The construction work of the venue is picking up pace.

Columbus Crew Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club based in Columbus, Ohio in United States. The Crew competes in MLS as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference. The Columbus Crew presently plays in the 19,968-capacity Mapfre Stadium in Ohio.

Major League Soccer is a men’s professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport’s highest level in the United States and Canada.

Columbus Crew SC update May 2020Image: Columbus Crew SC

The Crew, which marked 260 days of construction progress on the project recently, provided an update on their new residence as the MLS season still faces uncertainty as to when it can resume. The MLS season was suspended on March 12 as COVID-19 has taken a grotesque form in the United States.

The New Columbus Crew stadium is a soccer-specific stadium under construction in Columbus, US. It will primarily serve as the new home stadium of the Columbus Crew, replacing the club’s current home, Mapfre Stadium. The new facility will sit at the center of the Confluence Village neighborhood, a mixed-use development with residential and commercial buildings. It would accommodate 20,000 spectators and include 30 suites and 1,900 club seats.

On March 12, 2020, the MLS season entered a month-long suspension due to the COVID-19 outbreak following the cancellation of several matches. On March 19, the suspension was extended until May 10, and on April 17, the suspension was extended further to June 8. The league is considering a plan to resume the season with all teams playing in Orlando, US.

The new renderings gave more insight into the design of the roof of the stadium, along with an exclusive entrance for the Nordecke (supporters’ section), where the team’s supporters group sits behind one of the goals.

Earlier this month, the setting up of a joint venture for the commercial development of the Confluence Village, which will sit near the venue, was announced by Haslam Sports Group and the Edwards Family, investor-operators of the Crew.

The announcement was made by the club’s owners in tune with Columbus-based The Pizzuti Companies. The Confluence Village will be located in downtown Columbus, with the Crew and Pizzuti to transform the area into offices, commercial, residential, and green space.

A significant point of the joint venture includes the decision to develop residential units to better serve the local community. More details regarding the residential component of the development will be revealed in the near future.

Through their development of Confluence Village, the Crew and Pizzuti will transform the surrounding area that has been vacant for decades.

The joint venture also commits to support the important work of The City of Columbus Departments of Neighborhoods and Development, led by Mayor Andrew J. Ginther.

The groundbreaking ceremony of Columbus Crew’s Downtown Stadium was held in October last year, barely few hours after the club’s owners completed the acquisition of land on which it will sit. In September, the Crew unveiled renderings for the stadium, which will serve as the high point of the wide-ranging Confluence Village.

Columbus Crew’s new stadium will be the crown jewel of the new ownership group, with the Haslam and Edwards families having stepped in to buy the franchise from Anthony Precourt, whose initial plan to move the club to Austin resulted in him securing the rights to an expansion franchise, Austin FC, which will make its MLS debut next year.

The Haslam Sports Group owns and operates the National Football League’s (NFL’s) Cleveland Browns and MLS’s Columbus Crew SC, as well as explores additional opportunities within the sports and entertainment industries.

Jay Anthony Precourt Jr. is an American investor and sports team owner. He is the CEO of Two Oak Ventures, a group that owns future MLS club Austin FC and formerly owned the Columbus Crew SC.

The latest renderings provide a more detailed look at the 360-degree roof. The venue will sit in the heart of the Arena District in downtown Columbus. Apart from serving as Columbus Crew’s new home, the stadium is set to include the first supporters’ beer garden in MLS and a brew hall that will remain open even when matches are not played.

Beyond the stadium, the project includes a 40,000SF outdoor plaza, which will keep its doors open to the public on gamedays and non-event days. Current or new Full Season Ticket Members who maintain an active account status for the 2020 Columbus Crew SC season will enjoy priority over the waitlist in selecting seats in the new Downtown Stadium.

A steep seating bowl in the stadium will enable supporters to get close to the action on the pitch and will provide an exhilarating experience. In a similar manner, the arena’s wrap-around roof will provide protection over each stand and amplify the noise back to the pitch, thus creating an electrifying matchday experience in the facility.

The new home ground of the Crew will be divided into four unique stands, each of which will boast its own identity and design that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of Columbus’ urban neighborhoods.

The new Downtown Stadium is also set to enjoy an open 360-degree concourse, which will provide spectators an enriching experience by maintaining views to the pitch from the concourse, connecting the Nordecke Beer Garden in the north, the feature bars in the south, and the public plaza in the southeast. The concourse is designed to also support activation for non-soccer events during non-match days.

In addition to the open concourse, the stadium will boast the following:

  • Approximately, 34,000SF of flexible open club lounge space available for community use;
  • Five multifunctional club lounge areas ranging in size from 5,000-12,000SF, which will include a full-service kitchen, club concessions, bars and pantry areas;
  • Multiple green rooms to support entertainment rooms;
  • Four locker room areas available for use by other teams;
  • Approximately, 100,000SF of playing field grass area which can be employed for professional, collegiate and high school sporting events, concerts, fashion shows, and other community events; and
  • Approximately, 70,000SF of covered exterior concourse capable of supporting art displays or food festivals, fairs, flea markets and several other events.


Construction update

Presently, construction is on full swing on the Downtown Stadium, with the Columbus Crew SC and contractors, Turner Construction, having commenced the next major phase of development at the site on recently by erecting the first steel beam in recognition of all frontline workers who continue to push forward during this time of coronavirus pandemic which has torn to shreds the United States.

The first beam is over 23ft long and weighs 1.7 tons. It was set up in the southeast corner of the arena at pitch level and marks the start of the first sequence of steel to be brought in to Columbus and erected. The first sequence involved five truckloads worth of steel, with more to come over the ensuing months.

All of the steel material is domestically sourced, while the fabrication is occurring in three locations through the United States: Bellevue, Ohio, Charlotte, N.C., and Dublin, GA. The steel fabrication itself is estimated to take 113,610 manhours.

A dedicated crane for steel erection on the south and east side of the stadium was built on-site over the course of two days, with another crane set to be set up and service the north and west sides as construction continues from the inside-out. As many as 50 beams are able to be placed in a day, though the higher the beams are placed – such as in the canopy – the longer it takes.

The total tonnage for the stadium is 5,410 tons, which is equivalent to approximately 18 Boeing 747 airplanes, with the stadium’s 360-degree canopy system utilizing 42 percent of the total tonnage. The steel erection is estimated to take approximately 168,000 manhours, with over 68,000 bolts used to secure the beams.

As each beam is placed, it’s done as straight and flush as possible, but it cannot be completely settled until every piece is erected. Once all the steel is laid out, a separate group of workers will come to tighten bolts and weld the steel to ensure everything is plum. The steel frame will be completed later this year, followed by the canopy’s completion closer to late Autumn/Fall.

With the first steel beam erected, the outward expansion of the stadium will take shape in no time, starting with the south side, while the Nordecke structural steel erection is targeted for August.

Barring construction delays and any other complications brought about by the coronavirus situation, the stadium is slated for completion by the summer of 2021.

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