- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 20, 2010
- 1 Comments
- Crew Stadium
I guess when all the other kids in the playground have a shiner new toy you tend to get a bit jealous. That’s what I took from Columbus Crew president Mark McCullers on his club’s stadium situation. McCullers has recently visited the league’s two newest stadiums, PPL Park and Red Bull Arena. Its easy to see why he’d look at those two venues and get a tad jealous when he looks at his own stadium which is looking “ancient” by today’s standards.
For those who don’t know Crew Stadium was the first of it’s kind in Major League Soccer. Lamar Hunt put down his own money for the venue back in 1999 and while it has some nice charm about it, there are plenty of things that are missing from it when you compare it to the newer ones around the league.
I recall one of the Hunts talking about this a bit back when Pizza Hut Park was first opened. I want to say it was Clark Hunt but honestly my memory is never good enough to recall things like this, but he said when PHP was opening up that they included some things that they wished they could have at Crew Stadium. At that time he was referring to the stage, permanent seats throughout most of the venue (not bleacher seats), and other modern things.
Fast forward to today and you can still see the Crew and their front office wanting some upgrades to their facility. No harm in that and its kind of one of those things that shows exactly how far the league has really come.
McCullers isn’t shy about his opinions on matters like this. He downplays things a bit when talking about stadium renovation. To me it sounds a bit more like he’d be willing to move the Crew in Columbus to a better location, one that may help drive in more fans.
I don’t have any issues with him thinking that moving the Crew to a new venue in Columbus is a good idea. Some folks will want clubs to build up a history in these venues and that’s alright but from a business standpoint I’d be willing to bet that Crew fans would take a shiny new facility in a better location with all the good bells and whistles over their current stadium. Just sayin’.
My bet is if the club gets serious about this, which I think they will in time we’ll see them stay where they are at but renovate the heck out of Crew Stadium. It just comes down to what money the Hunts want to spend and can spend on a renovation job or new stadium.