Mapfre Stadium

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Mapfre Stadium
Mapfre Stadium Logo.png
Columbus crew stadium mls allstars 2005.jpg
Former names Columbus Crew Stadium (1999–2015)
Location 1 Black and Gold Boulevard
Columbus, Ohio 43211-2091
Coordinates 40°0′34″N 82°59′28″W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111Coordinates: 40°0′34″N 82°59′28″W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111
Owner Precourt Sports Ventures LLC
Operator Precourt Sports Ventures LLC
Capacity 22,555 (1999–2008)
20,145 (2008–present)
25,000–30,000 (concerts)
Field size 115 × 75 yards
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction
Broke ground August 14, 1998[1]
Opened May 15, 1999
Construction cost $28.5 million
($40.3 million in 2015 dollars[2])
Architect NBBJ
Structural engineer Korda/Nemeth Engineering Inc.[1]
General contractor Corna/Kokosing Construction Co.[1]
Tenants
Columbus Crew SC (MLS) (1999–present)

Mapfre Stadium (/ˈmɑːfr/ MAH-fray;[3] styled as "MAPFRE Stadium"), previously known as Columbus Crew Stadium, is a soccer-specific stadium in Columbus, Ohio, United States. It primarily serves as the home stadium of the Columbus Crew SC of Major League Soccer. Built in 1999, it is the first soccer-specific stadium built for a professional soccer team in the second professional era of American soccer. The stadium is named for Madrid-based Mapfre Insurance after the company signed a sponsorship agreement announced on March 3, 2015. The listed seating capacity is 20,145.

In addition to Crew SC home games, Mapfre 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.

Origins[edit]

Columbus Crew SC played their first three seasons at Ohio Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University. During 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 Mapfre 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. It is located on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds.

Mapfre Stadium opened on May 15, 1999 as Columbus Crew Stadium 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. In the 2010 Showcase issue of Stadia Magazine, Ian Nuttall 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?" [4] The seating capacity was originally 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.[5][6]

After nearly 15 years of the stadium not having a corporate sponsor, the Crew announced naming rights were sold to Madrid-based Mapfre Insurance on March 3, 2015. The team had been searching to sell stadium naming rights since it opened in 1999, but had been unable to come to an agreement. Mapfre maintains an office in Columbus and has its U.S. base in Boston.[3][7]

Events[edit]

In addition to hosting the Crew SC home games, Mapfre Stadium has 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 Mapfre 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.

Mapfre 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 MAPFRE Stadium in 2001 and 2003. In 2002, it was the host stadium for the Steinfeld Cup, the championship of Major League Lacrosse. MAPFRE 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, MAPFRE Stadium hosted the inaugural USA Sevens Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational.[8]

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[edit]

In 2003, the FIFA Women's World Cup was played at Mapfre 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
 Japan 6–0  Argentina
September 24, 2003  Germany 3-0  Japan 15,529
 Canada 3–0  Argentina
September 28, 2003  Sweden 3–0  Nigeria Group A 22,828
 North Korea 0-3  United States

U.S. Men's National Soccer Team[edit]

Since the opening of Mapfre 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).

Date Teams Competition Attendance
October 11, 2000 United States  0–0  Costa Rica 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF semi-finals 24,430
February 28, 2001 United States  2–0  Mexico 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF final round 24,329
June 7, 2001[9] United States  0–0  Ecuador Friendly
July 6, 2003[10] United States  2–0  Paraguay Friendly
June 13, 2004 United States  3–0  Grenada 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Second Round 10,000
November 17, 2004 United States  1–1  Jamaica 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Third Round 9,088
September 3, 2005 United States  2–0  Mexico 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fourth Round 24,685
February 11, 2009 United States  2–0  Mexico 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fourth Round 23,776
September 11, 2012 United States  1–0  Jamaica 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Third Round 23,881
September 10, 2013 United States  2–0  Mexico 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fourth Round 24,584

Notes[edit]

  • 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.[11]
  • The April 27, 2013 match against D.C. United at the stadium was delayed by 50 minutes after a fire broke out in a speaker cabinet on the south scoreboard. Firefighters controlled the blaze immediately, and the match went on as scheduled.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Columbus Crew Media Guide
  2. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Jardy, Adam (March 3, 2015). "Crew's home has new name: Mapfre Stadium". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ Nuttall, Ian (2010). "Ten From 10". Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ Beck, Aaron (January 10, 2008). "Crew Stadium adds concert stage". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Matchday - About Crew SC and MAPFRE Stadium". 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Introducing MAPFRE Stadium: Columbus Crew SC reveals historic stadium naming rights partnership with MAPFRE Insurance". ColumbusCrewSC.com. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  8. ^ "USA 7’s Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational 2010.". Retrieved June 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ "USA vs Ecuador, June 7, 2001". 
  10. ^ "USA vs Paraguay, July 6, 2003". 
  11. ^ "mlsnet.com's inaugural game recap". Retrieved July 27, 2007. [dead link]
  12. ^ "STATEMENT: Club response to scoreboard fire at Crew Stadium". Retrieved April 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Ohio Stadium
Home of the
Columbus Crew

1999 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
RFK Stadium
Host of the MLS Cup
2001
Succeeded by
Gillette Stadium
Preceded by
Kennedy Stadium
Host of Major League Lacrosse championship game
2002
Succeeded by
Villanova Stadium
Preceded by
Ericsson Stadium
Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Host of the College Cup
2001
2003
Succeeded by
Gerald J. Ford Stadium
Home Depot Center