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Crew Stadium at 10 Years Old

DuNord also pointed us to this Columbus Alive story by Chris DeVille  highlights of ten years of play at Columbus Crew Stadium.

Crew Stadium was, I believe, the first soccer-only stadium in the U.S.  MLS was in its infancy and skeptics cried that this construction was very premature for a several-years-old league.  But the MLS business model is holding up, and several other clubs have joined the Crew in building a proper home field (FC Dallas, Chicago Fire and others).

Crew Stadium, courtesy MLS-net
One thing I've always loved about Crew Stadium is its location- adjacent to the Ohio State fairgrounds and just a few miles north of downtown Columbus, in Columbus proper, and just blocks east of The Ohio State University, where many of my friends went.  As a fan of urban renewal, I love the setting in Columbus proper, and the activity cluster that it creates between the fairgrounds, the Horseshoe (OSU's massive football stadium) and other nearby venues, like Nationwide Arena, home to the NHL's Blue Jackets. Also, as an Ohioan, I was still a teenager marveling out how were lucky to get one of the original franchises- let alone the first stadium- when this beauty opened.  

Finally, as it soon became host to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state soccer semi's and finals, it became high school soccer's version of  The Barn (the old OSU basketball gym where the state hoops tournament happened every year).

So, admittedly, Crew Stadium has a ways to go before it achieves the legacy of an Old Trafford, Estadio Azteca, San Siro, Camp Nou, or Wembley.  (Check here for ESPN's review of ten great stadia, and read Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch for some classic descriptions of how English venues embody their intimately surrounding neighborhoods.)

With the recent new Yankee Stadium ticket pricing quibbering between the Yanks and MLS commish Don Garber just behind us (read The Beautiful Game's take on that story, in which Garber proved prophetic and the Yankees ultimately lowered some prices), it is just awesome to thing of a decade of Crew Stadium.

 

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