- As part of a plan to keep Major League Soccer franchise Crew in Columbus, Ohio, city and county officials, along with a group of private investors, have announced plans for a new arena, an adjacent mixed-use complex and a repurposing of the team's existing stadium into a multi-use community sports and training facility, an initiative that, according to Columbus Business First, would result in more than $1 billion of direct spending. The private group would invest $230 million toward construction of the 430,000-square-foot stadium.
- The 20,000-seat soccer venue would take up 13 acres of a 33-acre site on the Olentangy River in the city’s downtown near the multipurpose Nationwide Arena. The mixed-use Confluence Village portion of the project would occupy 15 acres and include up to 270,000 square feet of commercial and office space and 885 residential units, with 20% of those affordable. The plan also calls for five acres of public space and a riverfront park.
- The City Council on Monday considered a memorandum of understanding that outlines proposed financing, development, construction, operation and occupancy details for the new stadium, as well as the redevelopment of the current stadium site. Both the city and county will invest $50 million each, and in addition to the $230 million for the stadium, investors, which include the owners of NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns, will pay approximately $150 million for the team, put $53 million toward a 30-year philanthropy program and inject additional money into the mixed-use component.
The design and construction of soccer-specific stadiums take the nature of the game into consideration, with almost every aspect geared toward maximizing supporter experience, including special standing areas where fans can hold signs, and overhangs and seating that amplify noise and vibration.
Ohio soccer enthusiasts are also getting a soccer-specific venue in Cincinnati. This summer, FC Cincinnati announced the design and construction team for a new $200 million, 21,000-seat stadium. MEIS Architects is designing the venue and Turner Construction will act as the general contractor in partnership with a local firm, Jostin Construction. Another local company, Elevar Design Group, will work with MEIS, and Machete Group will be responsible for certain aspects of the project like budget, schedule, sponsorships and site and master planning.
The city and county have agreed to pay for up to $75 million of infrastructure around the stadium, and the team’s owners will pay an estimated $350 million for stadium construction and licensing fees. The team recently announced that they will break ground on the new venue Dec. 18. Construction is expected to last more than two years, with the team expected to play its first match there in 2021.