© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
The Statehouse News Bureau provides educational, comprehensive coverage of legislation, elections, issues and other activities surrounding the Statehouse to Ohio's public radio and television stations.

Lawmakers Propose $15M For New Columbus Crew Stadium In Team Effort To #SaveTheCrew

A new 20,000-seat stadium for the Columbus Crew SC is being proposed for the Arena District. [City of Columbus]
A new 20,000-seat stadium for the Columbus Crew SC is being proposed for the Arena District.

State lawmakers have proposed sending $15 million to the Columbus Crew to help build their new stadium in an effort to ensure the team could never be moved without striking a deal with government leaders.

The money is part of a larger omnibus amendmentto SB51, which has become what’s known as a Christmas Tree bill where several lawmakers attach provisions in the lame duck session.

Lawmakers believe the appropriation would trigger the “Art Modell Law” which says a team that plays most of its home games in a stadium supported by public money cannot relocate without government approval.

“It’s state money, financial assistance going directly into the stadium,” says Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington), a vocal supporter of the Columbus Crew in the Statehouse. “Between that and also the local government money, it’s more than MAPFRE ever had and I think MAPFRE was a very strong case as well.”

MAPFRE Stadium is the current home to the Columbus Crew SC.

Last year, the Crew’s current owner Anthony Precourt announced he planned to move the team to Austin. That sparked the #SaveTheCrew movement with fans, businesses, and policymakers working to keep the team in Columbus.

“I think this is actually, literally the moment that they will be saved,” Duffey says.

The city of Columbus and Franklin County have also announced it would put $50 million each towards the new stadium.

The project would be a 20,000-seat soccer stadium and community sports park tallying up to $645 million with office and residential space included. The development would be in Downtown Columbus, west of Huntington Park and Nationwide Arena.

The bill with its list of amendments must be approved by the full Ohio House and Senate chambers before going to Gov. John Kasich. Copyright 2018 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.