Wednesday, March 24, 2010

3/24/2010: Crew Looking To Move To Brewery or Arena District In Next 10 Years?

That was the plan way back in the day until funding for a soccer stadium in 1999 put the Crew all the way out by the fairgrounds:

And, it seems to still be the plan of the Columbus Crew today. And, it is what Mark McCullers always says on upgrades to the current CCS, "why upgrade when we can save that money towards a new stadium?"

Shawn Mitchell spells it out:
You arrive, via major highway, probably Rt. 315 or I-670.

You park in a paved space or in a garage, maybe in the same spot you use for Blue Jackets or Clippers games.

You walk a short distance, perhaps west on Nationwide Boulevard, just past Huntington Park, or south, toward COSI and Veterans Memorial and the Brewery District.

You enter the Crew's sparkling new stadium, adorned with the logo of a local company that has paid a hefty sum for the right to name the park.

Your seat could be in one of a few prime locations: a climate-controlled suite with full amenities; a midfield perch in the upper deck, complete with a chair back and a cup holder; a spot on the standing-room only terrace, where the Nordecke - now 5,000 strong - congregates to sing and drum and raise a ruckus.

When the game is over, you head off into the bustling Downtown night. Your choices for postgame libations are many and varied. You'll talk about what might happen next week during practice at the Crew's state-of-the art training complex in Delaware County.

That was your night out for the Crew game. Getting stuck in the mud at the state fairgrounds is a faint memory.

I imagine placing it downtown in the Brewery or Arena District and making the building all brick on the outside in German Village style. Making it a cathedral for Crew Soccer with a roof and no stages (if they need a stage put it outside the stadium). Make it a real soccer stadium, in the heart of downtown, something that Columbus citizens can say wow to (like Red Bull Arena). AS THERE IS NO POINT IN MAKING A NEW STADIUM IF YOU MAKE ONE THAT IS NOT MUCH BETTER THAN THE CURRENT IN EVERY WAY. If the attention to soccer detail is there though, I bet the Crew could sell out 20,000 a season in such a scenario or will at least see a dramatic uptick.

The current stadium just does not feel big league. A stage does not feel big league.
Even Dave Matthews jumped ship from CCS to have his concert at the baseball stadium that does not have a stage. There are too many concert venues in Columbus, that as soon as we build another concert venue, there will be a better one a few years down the road. So why not keep our business to soccer?

If you put a stadium downtown and make it attractive you will sell many more tickets. CCS just isn't that attractive and doesn't feel like an event often times (I mean mud bogging my mustang at a Crew game isn't an event) and as a result you have to look at making extra money via concerts.

There are solutions to make a stadium concert-ready without a stage, just put some empty space behind the one goal (enough for a stage), have steep seats behind it, and then have your concert that way. Stages in SSS's totally ruin the look of a stadium.

Instead we should have a brick stadium, with a roof, downtown. I think that baby would sell out. Look at Red Bull Arena(it is beautiful without a gimmicky stage! If the Red Bull owners would have went with the Colorado Rapids and FCD stage stadium designs, they're going to sell way less tickets). So, at some point whoever is owning this team has to figure out if they're in the soccer business or the rock on the range business.

You can still have some concerts without making a massive stage. Just have to be smart about it. There are ways to make it look like an actual soccer stadium and still make it easy for a concert.

Also, interesting was that Noorzai's group wanted to dismantle CCS and move it to the Brewery District, lol.


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