Dear Historic Crew Stadium,
In 1999 you opened your gates to fans who had a temporary home at Ohio Stadium, supporting an Major League Soccer original franchise in the Columbus Crew. You became the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States and became a household name for MLS and U.S. Soccer.
Little did you know that you would go through three different name changes throughout your 22-plus years of service. First, Crew Stadium, which was your original name when you came into existence in a time of need. Years later, you became MAPFRE Stadium, and along with that came a change in the team formerly known as Columbus Crew SC. Now, the team and you unite as one. The Columbus Crew and historic Crew Stadium.
After 22 years of concerts, soccer games, lacrosse and football games as well, the Crew and U.S. Soccer community will part ways and move on to something bigger and better. However, nothing will top the moments that everyone shared during their time there.
From the 2003 Women’s World Cup to all the men’s World Cup qualification game and all the Black & Gold home games, you’ve been put through the wringer, whether it's rain, snow, sunshine or beer showers.
To hoist the 2020 MLS Cup on that cold day in December of 2020 during a growing global pandemic was a night no fan will never forget. The last major event to take place on the field at 1 Black & Gold Blvd will be cherished forever.
And now, it’s time to party like its May 15, 1999, one last time on Saturday against an old rival in the Chicago Fire.
We weren't sure we were going to send you on your way at full capacity. But luckily we are having a sendoff all together, one last time, just like the good days. And with that, we once again say thank you.
Thank you for hosting so many events that gave the Columbus community something to do in its spare time. Thank you for being the first true soccer home in MLS to the first franchise in league history, the Columbus Crew. Most of all, thank you for bringing strangers together to build a second family and second home on the weekends.
Without you, there would be no Nordecke.
As we bid farewell to you, remember that you will still have a purpose, as the OhioHealth Performance Center for the Crew, and for the Academy player who wish to play professionally someday. A new state-of-the-art practice home for the Crew, at the team’s old home is certainly better than somewhere else.
Neither Crew fans nor staff can put into words how much you mean to them, as we move into a positive direction for years to come. You’re forever in our minds, and in our hearts.
So long Partner.