Plan Would Repurpose Mapfre Stadium, Move Crew To New Venue
Columbus city leaders yesterday announced a "shared-use, public sports complex" on the Crew's Mapfre Stadium grounds, with the facility also serving as the Crew's "training facility and a regional sports tournament site," according to a front-page piece by Bush & Smola of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. The Crew would "remain in Columbus and use Mapfre Stadium for two years before moving to a new stadium" under a proposal to be announced later today. Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer said city officials today will also announce "other facility, stadium components." Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin said that they will "take up legislation Monday on financing the plan." Fischer said that the entire deal "must be completed this month" to meet an MLS deadline to "allow the Crew and the league to plan for next season." The city "would contribute" up to $50M toward the deal, including between $20-30M to "repurpose" Mapfre Stadium into a public sports complex. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said that the rest of the city's contribution would be "in the form of land and infrastructure for the new stadium." Ginther said that under the plan, the Crew's training facility "probably would remain in the village of Obetz" until the team leaves Mapfre Stadium (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 12/6).