Today, Mayor Ginther shared an open letter he and Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, sent to the MLS and owner Anthony Precourt about their efforts to #SaveTheCrew, including the city’s three suggestions for a new stadium.
“Imagine a bustling “stadium central” Downtown, with three professional sports arenas right in the heart of the city,” write Ginther and Fischer. “Or envision a riverfront stadium on the Southwest Side, with ample park land to develop. Or what if we started fresh where the stadium is now, with a new state-of-the-art stadium adjacent to a destination entertainment district?”
Here are the suggestions as they appear in the letter:
- Berliner Park: more than 200 acres of city-owned property on the Southwest side of Columbus with easy access to I-71. Just 10 minutes from Downtown Columbus, this site is adjacent to German Village, one of the city’s oldest and most prosperous areas. This location has the option for a riverfront location.
- Dodge Recreation Center: 16 acres of riverfront city-owned property near the major freeway intersections of I-70 and I-71. In addition, this site is near the heart of a neighborhood seeing amazing growth and revitalization, just minutes from the center of Downtown Columbus.
- Redevelopment of Ohio Expo Center and State Fair: work with the State of Ohio to revitalize the area around the current Crew SC Stadium, build a world-class soccer stadium on the existing site and connect the area to the heart of the Ohio State University campus through improved access connectors.
In addition, the letter including possible buying options. Note: This letter was written under the impression that Precourt will still want partial ownership of the Crew.
- 50/50 ownership with local investors with commensurate decision-making rights
- Crowdfunding and shared ownership with local investors in a “Green Bay Packers” model of professional sports
- Minority investments from strategic partners
In closing, Ginther and Fischer write,
“None of the above is achievable if we continue to be pitted against another city. We ask you to reconsider working exclusively and collaboratively with us to advance our mutual interest. As we have said before, Columbus stands ready, willing and able to make the city a successful venue for the Crew SC.”