In October, Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam joined an ownership group with the intent of keeping the Columbus Crew Soccer Club in Ohio's capital city.
On Thursday, that group unveiled its plans for a new stadium complex, which could help not only achieve its goal, but transform downtown Columbus.
The proposed project, named "Confluence Village" would consist of 33 acres adjacent to Columbus' downtown Arena District. Thirteen of the acres would be occupied by a $230 million, 20,000-seat soccer stadium, with the rest of the space allotted to residential units, private and commercial office space.
In a statement, the Haslam's, as well as the family of partner Pete Edwards, Jr., said:
“We are thrilled with the tremendous progress that has been achieved in this short period of time to keep the Crew in Columbus while creating a long-term plan that will greatly benefit the community. The vision for a shared community sports park is especially exciting as the opportunity to more deeply engage Columbus youth with soccer and other sports is so valuable. We are also very excited about the robust activities and possibilities for Confluence Village, which will be the latest transformative development in the vibrant Arena District neighborhood. We are continuing to work through design elements and a neighborhood vision for the future home of the Crew. Our goals, along with those of the Columbus Partnership, HNBT and MKSK, are focused on creating a community asset that reflects the unique personality of Columbus, is a terrific soccer environment and creates wonderful opportunities for the community to utilize the sporting complex year-round in a variety of ways. We greatly appreciate the collaborative efforts of Mayor Ginther, City and County leaders, the Columbus Partnership and Major League Soccer.”
“It’s important to point out that our vision for the new 20,000-seat stadium includes 3,200 supporter seats," said Edwards. “We know Crew fans have been leading the charge to keep the Crew in Columbus from day one. They will not be disappointed with the end result.”
The project, which would be completed in time for the 2021 MLS season, is still pending approval of Columbus City Council and Franklin County. In October, the Haslam's and Edward's joined Columbus businessman Alex Fischer to form the Columbus Partnership with the intent of buying the Crew, which had been on the verge of moving to Austin, Texas.
The MLS has reportedly given the group a Dec. 31 deadline to complete its purchase, which is expected to cost $150.