COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Even with a win Sunday, the Columbus Crew SC will not get a shot at repeating as Major League Soccer champions.
The team’s first season at its new stadium in Columbus’ Arena District is officially over.
“A lot of things have to happen right for you to win a championship,” said fan Paul Henley. “It doesn’t come easy, so that’s OK. I still enjoy being here and cheering for the Crew.”
Fans and players aren’t the only ones wishing the season wasn’t over. Businesses in the Arena District are part of that group, too.
While it may have been a disappointing season on the field, some, like the Corridores, are still finding wins off the pitch.
“It’s glorious,” said fan Marco Corridore. “It’s a fantastic stadium. The experience is amazing, the pitch is amazing, everything where you sit, it’s just fantastic.”
With the new Lower.com Stadium opening in July, the first three home games of the season were played at Historic Crew Stadium. Now, fans are already looking forward to a full season at the Arena District.
“We’ve got the new stadium for the full year,” Henley said. “It’ll be great.”
Lower.com Stadium isn’t just a hit among the Crew faithful. Arena District bars and restaurants like having it in the area as well.
The staff at Whistle and Keg said Crew games have been great for business.
Down the street at Boston’s, owner Tim Emery said business on a Crew Sunday is 400 percent higher than normal Sundays.
“It was great,” he said. “It exceeded our expectations. We really weren’t sure what to expect, but as we got into it, it’s pretty much every bit of a hockey game, home hockey game.”
Emery said the last two months were record breakers for the establishment.
“We had the biggest September we’ve ever had, and had the biggest October we’ve ever had,” he said. “And I would pretty much attribute both of those to the Crew.”
The Crew reaching the playoff would have meant more business, so Emery has his eyes set on next season, just like Crew fans.
“They just didn’t do it this year, but we know they can do it and they will do it again,” said fan Celina Corridore.
There isn’t much time to wait: the next season, fully at Lower.com Stadium, kicks off at the end of February, a little less than four months away.