New stadium: They have reason to be proud again in Columbus

source: [RZ]; author: Rafał Zagrobelny

New stadium: They have reason to be proud again in Columbus Years ago, the Columbus Crew proudly boasted the first stadium in the US built specially for a soccer club. In 2021, the team settled on a new, modern facility that hosted a record number of fans.


A record-breaking year Field was officially inaugurated on July 3, 2021 when Crew played against the New England Revolution. The opening game was sold out, and after the entire season the club had its highest average attendance in the history (18,989). The record set in Crew’s rookie MLS year was finally broken.

Malcontents may find the record a bit of a stretch. After all, the first three regular season games, which were played at the old facility, were not included in the calculation of the average. However, we shouldn't forget that Ohio was under pandemic restrictions at the time, limiting the maximum capacity of the stadium. Field, Columbus© 6drone4 (Instagram)

Even after taking those games into account, the average and total number of tickets sold put last season in fifth place in the club's 25-year history in the MLS. It's a great result that was achieved in large part due to the new stadium.

The final cost for the construction of Field amounted to $313.9 million. Maximum capacity is 20,011 seats, 2% more than in the old stadium. In Columbus, they looked realistically at the calculations in this regard and did not want to create a huge venue that would be difficult to fill.

Perfect for soccer

Historic Crew Stadium forever made soccer history in the US, as it was the first arena built specifically for a soccer club. Field also establishes the standards. It is designed to create a world-class matchday experience for the fans. Field, Columbus
© JK Wilson (hi_imjk - Instagram)

First of all, the north stand (called by the fans the Nordecke) is single-tier (unlike the other three), and has 3,356 standing places (second largest in MLS). There is a central capo stand and a platform for drummers. It is also very teep. The 37-degree rake is one of the steepest in MLS.

The designers of the stadium also thought of such "extras" as a special place for hanging big flags under the roof with a maximum width of 180 feet, and a system of pipes for producing fog during tifos.

Another important improvement for fans - not only on the north stand - is the proximity of seats and standings places to the pitch. In some areas, supporters are 28 feet closer to the players than in the old Crew stadium.

The stadium's creators kept in mind that a match day is more than just a sports event. Fans can enjoy a large outdoor beer garden (5,600 ft2) on the main concourse directly behind the Nordecke stand. There is also a public plaza covering nearly 62,000 ft2 with a 14x24 feet video screen. The external part of the arena houses a pub, restaurant and fan shop, open on non-match days. Field, Columbus© Jason Schwartz (jasonschwartz289 - Instagram)

Technological innovation is also something the investors were keen on. Columbus fans who buy tickets for their team's matches can link their face picture to their ticketing account. Thanks to this biometric feature, it is not necessary to take out a ticket or a phone to pass the gates.

Part of a large-scale project

The stadium was built as part of a large investment project called Astor Park. Created by Haslam Sports Group (also owners of the Columbus Crew), the project combines office, residential and leisure functions. In total, more than 440 flats, retail boutiques, an office building and a 2-acre riverside park will be adjacent to the stadium. Field, Columbus
© 6drone4 (Instagram) Field is located in the northwest of downtown Columbus, west of the Arena District with the Nationwide Arena and Huntington Park baseball stadium. The site is situated next to the Scioto River and is well connected with different parts of the city. The drive from the stadium to the airport usually takes less than a quarter of an hour.

On June 15, 2021, the club announced that it had established a long-term partnership and that the arena was renamed Field. The sponsor is an online mortgage lender and it’s name can be found on the roof and facade of the stadium. Both sides refused to confirm the duration and value of the contract, but according to Sports Business Journal, is paying the Crew between $3m and $4m per year.

Author: Rafał Zagrobelny