Past and present Columbus Crew players react to new downtown stadium

Columbus Crew

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Major League Soccer’s oldest team broke ground on the league’s newest stadium.

The Columbus Crew, in conjunction with Nationwide Reality Investors, held a groundbreaking ceremony at the team’s new Arena District Stadium on Thursday afternoon. The event was hosted by Crew legend Kyle Martino.

“I dreamed of a downtown stadium,” Martino said. “It didn’t happen in my playing days, but I can’t tell you how excited I am for the fans and for the players not only that we’re keeping this beautiful club here but they’re going to have this incredible new home downtown.”

The open-to-the-public event brought hundreds of fans to the stadium’s new site, which will be open in the summer of 2021.

“This means everything to me because it’s my life,” starting defender Jonathan Mensah said. “It’s where I am right now so I’m blessed to be here.”

This stadium at 650 West Nationwide Boulevard replaces MAPFRE Stadium. Built 20 years ago, it was the first soccer specific stadium in the United States.

The ceremony featured Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther as well as Crew owners Dee Haslam and Dr. Pete Edwards who helped save the Crew two years ago.

“It’s about Columbus, it’s about pride in our community and it’s about how thankful I am to be part of this community and be part of this team,” Edwards said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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