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Volume 26 No. 62
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Public Contribution For Crew's New Stadium Grows Another $25M

The public contribution to the Crew's new stadium in downtown Columbus, a "revamped practice facility at Mapfre Stadium and a city recreational park surrounding the current stadium has grown" by at least $25M, to $140M, since the project was unveiled in December, according to a front-page piece by Bill Bush of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. With a funding date of Aug.15 "looming for the team owners and the public partners to finalize the deal, no agreement has yet been reached to purchase land" for both the downtown stadium and the recreation area. The stadium itself "would cost" $244.9M, including "city infrastructure work but not including the cost of acquiring the land." Most of the site is owned by Nationwide Reality Investors. The Crew "must have a land-purchase agreement with Nationwide Realty" by Aug. 15 unless it "exercises options to extend the deadline by up to a year." The city of Columbus has agreed to "pay an undisclosed sum toward the land purchase." While a yet-to-be-created stadium authority "would own the stadium, the facility’s 'acquisition, design, construction and development' would be controlled" by the team, which would pay $10M a year to "use the stadium for 30 years." The Crew "would market, control and have the rights to all revenue from the new stadium." That includes "naming rights, but no name can be 'objectionable' to the city or county" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 6/18).

SHOCK AND AWE: In Columbus, Michael Arace writes one of the "most startling things is how quickly all of this is coming together." In Cincinnati and Nashville, soccer-stadium plans have "encountered delay after delay (often for good reason)." Arace: "Generally speaking, it takes five years to get a stadium built. Here in Columbus, it took 14 months to Save the Crew -- an incredible victory that was a product of another public-private cooperative -- and it’s going to take 18 months or so to get a new stadium online. We should parse well how it is done. In large part, it is through cooperation" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 6/18).