Columbus Crew Stadium
|Location||1 Black and Gold Boulevard
Columbus, Ohio 43211-2091
|Owner||Precourt Sports Ventures LLC|
|Operator||Precourt Sports Ventures LLC|
|Field size||115 × 75 yards|
|Broke ground||August 14, 1998|
|Opened||May 15, 1999|
|Construction cost||$28.5 million
($40.3 million in 2014 dollars)
|Structural engineer||Korda/Nemeth Engineering Inc.|
|General contractor||Corna/Kokosing Construction Co.|
|Columbus Crew (MLS) (1999–present)|
Crew Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in Columbus, Ohio, United States. It primarily serves as the home stadium of the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer. Built in 1999, Crew Stadium was the first soccer-specific stadium built for a professional soccer team in the second professional era of American soccer. The listed seating capacity is 20,145.
In addition to Crew home games, Crew Stadium is also the site of a variety of additional events in amateur and professional soccer, American football, lacrosse, and rugby. The stadium is also a regular site for outdoor concerts due to the permanent stage in the north end zone.
The Columbus Crew played their first three seasons at Ohio Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University. During Crew games, large sections of the stadium were blocked off to reduce capacity from approximately 90,000 to 25,243. Although the Crew enjoyed success at Ohio Stadium during their tenure there, the large seating capacity and limitations to the field size made the stadium ill-suited for soccer. Additionally, Ohio Stadium lacked permanent field lights. These problems, along with planned renovations to Ohio Stadium, which began in 1999, were all factors in the development of Crew Stadium. The construction cost of US$28.5 million was covered entirely with private funds from Crew owner and oil billionaire Lamar Hunt and his Hunt Sports group.
Columbus Crew Stadium opened on May 15, 1999 with a match between the home side and the New England Revolution. It is the first major league soccer-specific stadium in the United States, and has been credited with inspiring the wave of construction of soccer-specific stadiums throughout the league. The seating capacity was 22,555 until 2008 when construction of a permanent stage in the north end zone reduced seating capacity to the current 20,455, with room to expand to 30,000 total seats for concerts. It is located on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds.
In the 2010 Showcase issue of Stadia Magazine, Columbus Crew Stadium is considered the most influential stadium of the last decade stating "Who'd have thought when it opened in 1999 that Major League Soccer's first purpose-built stadium would kick-start the wave of dedicated soccer specific stadiums that continue today?" 
In addition to hosting the Crew's home games, Crew Stadium was also hosted other Major League Soccer and professional soccer events. It was the site of the 2001 MLS Cup championship and was the host stadium for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in 2000 and 2005. Both the United States men's and women's national teams have played numerous matches at Crew Stadium, most notably, the 2001 Men's World Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico known as La Guerra Fria due to sub-freezing temperatures. During the 2003 Women’s World Cup, the stadium was one of the venues used during the group stage of the tournament.
Crew Stadium has also hosted events outside of professional soccer, including events for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Major League Lacrosse, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). The NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship was held at Crew Stadium in 2001 and 2003. In 2002, it was the host stadium for the Steinfeld Cup, the championship of Major League Lacrosse. Crew stadium is a regular site for OHSAA state championship tournaments in both American football and soccer. In the local Columbus area, it is the site for the annual Westerville Football Classic, featuring the Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South, and New Albany football teams. It has also been host to the local high school football rivalry of parochial schools Bishop Watterson High School and St. Francis DeSales High School. In June 2010, Crew stadium hosted the inaugural USA Sevens Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational.
The stadium also hosts numerous concerts annually, including Rock on the Range, an annual festival of performances by rock bands, and concerts by Rascal Flatts to close out the Ohio State Fair in 2006, 2007 and 2009. A permanent stage, built in 2008, was constructed in the north end of the stadium to accommodate concerts after the closing of Germain Amphitheater. The addition replaced about 2,100 seats in the north end.
2003 FIFA Women's World Cup matches
In 2003, the FIFA Women's World Cup was played at Crew Stadium. The venue hosted group game matches.
|Date||Team #1||Result||Team #2||Round||Spectators|
|September 20, 2003||Germany||4–1||Canada||Group C||16,409|
|September 24, 2003||Germany||3-0||Japan||15,529|
|September 28, 2003||Sweden||3–0||Nigeria||Group A||22,828|
|North Korea||0-3||United States|
U.S. Men's National Soccer Team
Since the opening of Crew Stadium, it has been a regular site for the United States men's national soccer team matches, hosting ten games through 2013. The men's national team holds an unbeaten record of 7–0–3 in all competitions, outscoring opponents 15–1. The stadium has hosted four consecutive World Cup qualifying matches against Mexico, with the U.S. winning each match by the same score of 2–0 (with the U.S. fans adopting the rallying cry of dos-a-cero).
- The stadium features a 384 ft² (36 m²) video board as well as a 32 ft (10 m) of scrolling matrix board.
- It took 274 days from groundbreaking to the inaugural game (9 months, 1 day).
- The stadium is also 48 ft (15 m) tall at its highest point and is built on a 15 acre (61,000 m²) site.
- The first goal was scored by Jeff Cunningham during the inaugural game.
- Official stadium capacity is reported to be 20,145, though with portable bleacher seating on the stage side of the field the capacity is easily expanded temporarily. This was done for an MLS regular season game on October 4, 2008 against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Reported attendance for that date was 22,685.
- The Crew's April 27, 2013 match against D.C. United at the stadium was delayed by 50 minutes after a fire had broken out in a speaker cabinet on the south scoreboard. Firefighters controlled the blaze immediately, and the match went on as scheduled.
- "Crew Stadium adds concert stage" January 10, 2008
- Columbus Crew Media Guide
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "10 From Ten.".
- "USA 7’s Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational 2010.". Retrieved June 5, 2010.
- "USA vs Ecuador, June 7, 2001".
- "USA vs Paraguay, July 6, 2003".
- "mlsnet.com's inaugural game recap". Retrieved July 27, 2007.[dead link]
- "mlsnet.com match report". Retrieved October 4, 2008.[dead link]
- "STATEMENT: Club response to scoreboard fire at Crew Stadium". Retrieved April 27, 2013.
|Events and tenants|
|Home of the
1999 – present
|Host of the MLS Cup
|Host of Major League Lacrosse championship game
Gerald J. Ford Stadium
|Host of the College Cup
Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Home Depot Center