By Nick Dekker
Posted On: Jul 2, 2021
Established as one of the founding teams of Major League Soccer, the Columbus Crew has been entertaining fans and winning championships since 1996. Since 1999, the hardest working team in the MLS has made its home at the first purpose-built stadium in the country, sitting adjacent to the Ohio State Fairgrounds and the Ohio History Center in central Columbus.
But now the time has come for a big change for the Columbus Crew, as of Saturday, July 3, they make the move from their original home – now known as Historic Crew Stadium – to their brand new digs in downtown Columbus, Lower.com Field.
Lower.com Field takes its place at the west end of Columbus' Arena District, completing a new neighborhood that extends from Nationwide Arena, home of the Bluejackets, to Huntington Park, hope of the Clippers. So in one district, eager fans can enjoy professional hockey, baseball, and soccer throughout the year.
The state-of-the-art stadium seats up to 20,000 guests, including 20 suites and 1900 club seats. Its design brings every spectator closer to the action, with more steeply raked seating and a roof to fend off rain and capture the roar of the crowd. The energetic fan supporter section, the Nordecke, is more steeply laid out than other sections, so the most diehard fans will be there to cheer every play throughout the entire match. Their energy will inspire everyone in the stadium to get behind their hometown team!
The experience at Lower.com Field will feel uniquely Columbus. Stadium organizers have invited dozens of local food and drink vendors to feed hungry spectators. Guests can sample local favorites like Hot Chicken Takeover, Preston's Burgers, Donatos Pizza, Dirty Frank's Hot Dogs, Schmidt's Sausage Haus, Legacy Smokehouse and more.
It'll all pair perfectly with local brews from Land-Grant Brewing Company, Gemüt Biergarten and Crafted Culture Brewing Company. The stadium also includes The Pub, an in-house restaurant that'll be open to public at all times - even outside of game days. The southeast plaza, too, is meant to roll out a big welcome to attendees, with space to relax outside, grab an early dinner from local food trucks, and even enjoy live music from local bands.
Soon enough, the neighborhood around Lower.com Field, dubbed Astor Place, will grow with the addition of housing, retail, and restaurants. The city of Columbus constructed a walking bridge across the Scioto River, to connect the neighborhoods on both sides of the waterway. And the Crew isn’t completely saying good-bye to its former digs. Historic Crew Stadium is being converted into the team’s practice facility, while nearby land will soon be home to welcoming community parks.
Coming off their 2020 MLS Championship win, the Columbus Crew has already established itself as a powerhouse on the field. Their new home, with the continued energy from its dedicated fans, will surely usher in a new era for the hardest working team in Major League Soccer!
*Photos courtesy of Columbus Crew