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Volume 26 No. 179
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Columbus To Pay Nearly $100M Total Toward Crew Stadium

Columbus has "reported its public contribution" of $50M for the Crew's new stadium, but the city's "total cost is really much higher -- close to double" that, according to Bill Bush of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. As city department heads earlier this year "planned for the stadium, documents show they didn't have one budget, but two." One was for costs included in the $50M, and one for "those outside of it, spread across various departmental budgets and funding sources." In one spreadsheet circulated among city officials, City Auditor Megan Kilgore "tallied up what at the time were the project costs" of almost $98M, split between two sections: the $50M and "Other Projects." But most of the "Other Projects" listed in the document "now are formally city obligations under the draft development contract released in June between the city, the Crew and Franklin County." The contract "assigns city obligations of: a new riverside park and new pedestrian bridge across the Olentangy River at the stadium site, burying high-voltage AEP power lines at the stadium site, completing site environmental remediation, donating city land, making added street and traffic signal improvements near the site, and building a 600-plus-car parking garage." The contract "hasn't yet been consummated with the parties' signatures," so details "can still change -- even as the team has scheduled a stadium groundbreaking for Thursday." That "might shed light on why the land needed for the new stadium, owned by Nationwide Realty Investors, has not yet been purchased" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/6).