|Former names||Columbus Crew Stadium (1999–2015)|
|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||US$28.5 million
($40.5 million in 2016 dollars)
|Structural engineer||Korda/Nemeth Engineering Inc.|
|General contractor||Corna/Kokosing Construction Co.|
|Columbus Crew SC (MLS) (1999–present)|
Mapfre Stadium (// MAH-fray; 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. Mapfre Stadium is also the site of a variety of additional events in amateur and professional soccer, American football, lacrosse, and rugby, and is a regular site for outdoor concerts due to the permanent stage in the north end zone.
Built in 1999, it was the first soccer-specific stadium built by a Major League Soccer team, starting an important trend in MLS stadium construction. 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 19,968. In 2015, MAPFRE Stadium and Director of Grounds, Weston Appelfeller, CSFM, were honored with the prestigious Field of the Year award by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) for the professional soccer division.
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?"  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.
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.
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.
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
The 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup was played in the United States. Mapfre Stadium hosted several 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 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 8–0–3 in all competitions, outscoring opponents 19–1. 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). It hosted a 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Guatemala on March 29, 2016, which the US won, 4-0.
MLS Cup Finals
Since the opening of Mapfre Stadium, it has hosted two MLS Cup Finals; once as a neutral site, and once as home side Columbus Crew SC played host. The latter occurred following a 2012 MLS rules change which did away with a neutral site for the Final, and instead has the club with the best overall regular season record hosting the match.
|October 21, 2001||LA Galaxy 1–2 San Jose Earthquakes||2001 MLS Cup Final||21,626|
|December 6, 2015||Columbus Crew SC 1–2 Portland Timbers||2015 MLS Cup Final||21,747|
- 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 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.
- 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.
- "Contemporary Services Corporation Partners with MAPFRE Stadium". Contemporary Services Corporation. April 28, 2015. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
- Columbus Crew Media Guide
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- Jardy, Adam (March 3, 2015). "Crew's home has new name: Mapfre Stadium". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "S2015 Field of the Year winners named by STMA". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- Nuttall, Ian (2010). "Ten From 10". Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Beck, Aaron (January 10, 2008). "Crew Stadium adds concert stage". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "Matchday – About Crew SC and MAPFRE Stadium". 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "Introducing MAPFRE Stadium: Columbus Crew SC reveals historic stadium naming rights partnership with MAPFRE Insurance". ColumbusCrewSC.com. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "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". Archived from the original on January 13, 2007. Retrieved July 27, 2007.
- "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