Latest Crew State Fairgrounds Proposal Met With Mixed Reviews
The Crew ownership group and the Columbus Partnership "want to expand their footprint at the state fairgrounds from 17.5 to 40 acres and spend city dollars refurbishing Mapfre Stadium," a proposal was that "greeted with a measure of support and another of skepticism," according to Marty Schladen of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Crew reps and the Columbus Partnership yesterday "made their pitch to the Ohio Expositions Commission, which controls the fairgrounds." If they "come to an agreement with the Crew, they'll instruct the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to begin negotiating a lease with a partnership between the city and the team called a 'new community authority.'" Crew Exec VP & Chief Business Officer Steve Lyons said that artificial turf would be "installed in the stadium so that concerts and other events can be held there." The project would be financed with $50M in "city tax dollars." However, there are "questions about what 'community' means in the context of the project" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/6). In Columbus, Hayleigh Colombo reported the Crew in their latest proposal want to "build fewer community fields" as part of its plan for a $300M Arena District stadium. The team also is "no longer proposing to relocate the existing Black and Gold Boulevard." The Crew "currently owns Mapfre Stadium itself, but the land beneath it is owned by the state and maintained by the Ohio Expositions Commission" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/5).