Columbus Crew Stadium

Columbus Crew Stadium
Columbus Crew Stadium
Crew Stadium
Columbus crew stadium mls allstars 2005.jpg
Location 1 Black and Gold Boulevard
Columbus, OH 43211-2091
Coordinates 40°0′34″N 82°59′28″W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111Coordinates: 40°0′34″N 82°59′28″W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111
Broke ground August 14, 1998[1]
Opened May 15, 1999
Owner Hunt Sports Group
Operator Hunt Sports Group
Surface Grass
Construction cost $28.5 million
($37.6 million in 2011 dollars[2])
Architect NBBJ
General Contractor Corna/Kokosing Construction Co.[3]
Capacity 20,145 - (soccer)[4]; 25,000-30,000 - (concerts)[5]
Field dimensions 115 × 75 yards
Columbus Crew (MLS) (1999-present)
Ohio Machine (MLL) (2012)
Ohio Soccer Championships (2000-present)
Columbus Public Schools Boys Soccer City Championship (2001-present)

Columbus Crew Stadium is a soccer-specific stadium in Columbus, Ohio and the home stadium of Major League Soccer club, Columbus Crew. Built in 1999, Crew Stadium was the first soccer-specific stadium built for a professional soccer team in the second pro era of American soccer. The stadium present seats 20,145.



As a charter franchise in Major League Soccer (MLS), the Columbus Crew commenced play at Ohio Stadium in MLS's inaugural season of 1996. As it is principally an American football stadium, the facility was never popular with the team or its fans. When renovations to the American football stadium forced the Crew out, their owner, oil billionaire Lamar Hunt, decided to build the team its own dedicated home. Thus, Crew Stadium was born — purpose-built for the Columbus Crew in the winter of 1998-99. The construction cost of $28.5 million was covered entirely with private funds from Mr. Hunt and his Hunt Sports group.

The facility seats 20,455 [6] (with room to expand to 30,000 total seats for concerts) [7] and is located on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds. Columbus Crew Stadium opened on May 15, 1999 with a match between the home side and the New England Revolution, with a seating capacity of 22,555. It is the first major league soccer-specific stadium in the United States,[8] and has been credited with inspiring the wave of construction of soccer-specific stadiums throughout the league.

In the 2010 Showcase issue of Stadia Magazine, Columbus Crew Stadium is considered the most influential stadium of the last decade stating " Who'd have thought when if opened in 1999 that Major League Soccer first purpose-built stadium would kick-start the wave of dedicated soccer specific stadiums that continue today?" [9]


In addition to hosting the Crew's home games, the stadium has hosted numerous United States men's and women's national team matches (most notably, the 2001 World Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico known as La Guerra Fria due to sub-freezing temperatures), the 2001 MLS Cup championship, the 2000 and 2005 MLS All-Star Games, the 2001 and 2003 NCAA Men's College Cup national football championships, and the 2003 Women’s World Cup. It was the host stadium for the 2002 Major League Lacrosse championship game. Crew stadium has also hosted games for the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championship tournaments in both American football and soccer. It also hosts the annual Westerville Football Classic, featuring the Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South, and New Albany football teams. It has also been host to the local high school football rivalry of powers Bishop Watterson High School and St. Francis DeSales High School. Crew stadium also hosted the first inaugural USA Sevens Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational in June of 2010. [10]

The stadium also hosts numerous concerts annually, including Rock on the Range, an annual festival of performances by rock bands, and concerts by Rascal Flatts to close out the Ohio State Fair in 2006, 2007 and 2009. A permanent stage, built in 2008, has been constructed in the north end of the stadium to accommodate concerts after the closing of Germain Amphitheater. The addition replaces about 2,100 seats in the north end for soccer games.


  • The stadium features a 384 ft² (36 m²) video board as well as a 32 ft (10 m) of scrolling matrix board.
  • It took 274 days from groundbreaking to the inaugural game (9 months, 1 day).
  • The stadium is also 48 ft (15 m) tall at its highest point and is built on a 15 acre (61,000 m²) site.
  • The first goal was scored by Jeff Cunningham during the inaugural game.[11]
  • Official stadium capacity is reported to be 20,555, though with portable bleacher seating on the stage side of the field the capacity is easily expanded temporarily. This was done for an MLS regular season game on October 4, 2008 against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Reported attendance for that date was 22,685.[12]
  • On February 11, 2009 the stadium hosted the United States Men's National Team vs. Mexico for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with expanded seating on the stage and south end. Attendance was 23,776.[13]
  • The U.S. Men's National Team has never lost a game played at Columbus Crew Stadium, and have allowed only one goal against (as of July, 2010).


External links

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Ohio Stadium
Home of the
Columbus Crew

1999 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
RFK Stadium
Host of the MLS Cup
Succeeded by
Gillette Stadium
Preceded by
Kennedy Stadium
Host of Major League Lacrosse championship game
Succeeded by
Villanova Stadium

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  • Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area — Columbus Common name: Columbus Metro Area Largest city Columbus Other cities   …   Wikipedia

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