Wednesday, September 25, 2019

New Crew Stadium: Criticisms, Praise

The Columbus Crew released new renderings of their proposed new stadium that is located in the downtown area near (in?) the Arena District. The same place where the Columbus Blue Jackets and Clippers already have stadiums.


It's hard to get past the fact that this team has gone from, well, being gone to on the edge of having a modern stadium in the last 18 months is pretty amazing. Crew fans are celebrating and quite drunk on all the good things happening to their favorite thing.

The stadium itself looks in line with other MLS stadiums that are popping up in recent years. I'm not sure how you hit a home run in regards to stadium renderings for something in a city like Columbus, but I reckon this is it.


This will be more of a high-level look at things as that's about all renderings give you.

I'm most confused by the full roof. I get that some shade is needed because I've been going to Crew Stadium for over a decade. There is no mercy if the sun is out during the summer. And no cover from rain or snow. But for me, a full roof taketh more than it giveth.

For example: Columbus has a couple storm delays a year. It does seem more frequent in recent times, but it's only a small number. Roofs don't prevent delays but do provide cover. Good! But this isn't Manchester, England. You don't need a roof for a few spring evenings of rain and maybe MAYBE one snow (if we are lucky! those are great).

I do see the need to create some much-needed shade for fans, however. But that comes with a drawback as well. The roof appears to be black. Which means it'll be absorbing all the heat and literally cooking fans during the summer. Shade, good! Cooking in an oven, bad!

This is what happens most at Crew games - Hot to very warm summer evenings. 85 degrees turns in to 105 under a dark-colored roof on a sunny day. Think of getting into a black colored car in the summer. Or with homes - they are usually a light color because dark colors absorb all the heat. How many houses in your hood are black?

Two more drawbacks on the full roof. Both fall into the "Larry Experience" category.

1. Even though it is downtown, you can't friggin see the downtown. One image has a keyhole view of it. Why mess with that?

2. When you shade the fans you also lose a beautiful midwestern sky. I'll argue with anyone that doesn't agree that the most appealing things about the current stadium is the damn sky. and how much of it you get to see. The sunsets on summer evenings are impossible to beat.

That's all I got. The beer garden, supporters' standing section, plaza, etc etc are all kinda standard stuff.


If I'm in the stands I want an injection of COLUMBUS into my veins. A fully covered stand might as well be in Timbuktu. Having a roof is a kinda "we have it or don't have it" proposition. There isn't an inbetween unless you are attached to an NFL team (in the same city). I think if you are going to have a roof you have to open up one side of the stadium. Or, perhaps, chop off the second level on the side facing the city and or sunset. Compromise.

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