Mapfre Stadium
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Mapfre Stadium
MAPFRE Stadium
Mapfre Stadium Logo.png
Columbus crew stadium mls allstars 2005.jpg
Former names Columbus Crew Stadium (1999-2015)
Address 1 Black and Gold Boulevard
Location Columbus, Ohio
Coordinates 40°0?34?N 82°59?28?W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111Coordinates: 40°0?34?N 82°59?28?W / 40.00944°N 82.99111°W / 40.00944; -82.99111
Owner Precourt Sports Ventures LLC
Operator Precourt Sports Ventures LLC
Capacity 22,555 (1999-2008)
20,145 (2008-15)
19,968 (2015-present)[1]
25,000-30,000 (concerts)
Field size 115 × 75 yards
Surface Kentucky bluegrass
Construction
Broke ground August 14, 1998[2]
Opened May 15, 1999
Construction cost US$28.5 million
($41 million in 2016 dollars[3])
Architect NBBJ
Structural engineer Korda/Nemeth Engineering Inc.[2]
General contractor Corna/Kokosing Construction Co.[2]
Tenants
Columbus Crew SC (MLS) (1999-present)

Mapfre Stadium ( MAH-fray;[4] styled as "MAPFRE Stadium"), previously known as Columbus Crew Stadium, is a soccer-specific stadium in Columbus, Ohio, United States. It primarily serves as the home stadium of the Columbus Crew SC of Major League Soccer. Mapfre Stadium is also the site of a variety of additional events in amateur and professional soccer, American football, lacrosse, and rugby, and is a regular site for outdoor concerts due to the permanent stage in the north end zone.

Built in 1999, it was the first soccer-specific stadium built by a Major League Soccer team, starting an important trend in MLS stadium construction. The stadium is named for Madrid-based Mapfre Insurance after the company signed a sponsorship agreement announced on March 3, 2015. The listed seating capacity is 19,968. In 2015, MAPFRE Stadium and Director of Grounds, Weston Appelfeller, CSFM, were honored with the prestigious Field of the Year award by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) for the professional soccer division.[5]

Origins

Columbus Crew SC played their first three seasons at Ohio Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University. During games, large sections of the stadium were blocked off to reduce capacity from approximately 90,000 to 25,243. Although the Crew enjoyed success at Ohio Stadium during their tenure there, the large seating capacity and limitations to the field size made the stadium ill-suited for soccer. Additionally, Ohio Stadium lacked permanent field lights. These problems, along with planned renovations to Ohio Stadium, which began in 1999, were all factors in the development of Mapfre Stadium. The construction cost of US$28.5 million was covered entirely with private funds from Crew owner and oil billionaire Lamar Hunt and his Hunt Sports group. It is located on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center and State Fairgrounds.

Mapfre Stadium opened on May 15, 1999 as Columbus Crew Stadium with a match between the home side and the New England Revolution. It is the second soccer-specific stadium built in the country, after Steel Athletic Field was built in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in 1913, and the first Major Leaue Soccer stadium constructed in the United States. It has been credited with inspiring the wave of construction of soccer-specific stadiums throughout the league. In the 2010 Showcase issue of Stadia Magazine, Ian Nuttall stating "Who'd have thought when it opened in 1999 that Major League Soccer's first purpose-built stadium would kick-start the wave of dedicated soccer-specific stadiums that continue today?" [6] The seating capacity was originally 22,555 until 2008 when construction of a permanent stage in the north end zone reduced seating capacity to 20,455, with room to expand to 30,000 total seats for concerts.[7][8] The current seeting capacity for a soccer game is 19,968.

After nearly 15 years of the stadium not having a corporate sponsor, the Crew announced naming rights were sold to Madrid-based Mapfre Insurance on March 3, 2015. The team had been searching to sell stadium naming rights since it opened in 1999, but had been unable to come to an agreement. Mapfre maintains an office in Columbus and has its U.S. base in Boston.[4][9]

Events

In addition to hosting the Crew SC home games, Mapfre Stadium has also hosted other Major League Soccer and professional soccer events. It was the site of the 2001 MLS Cup championship and was the host stadium for the Major League Soccer All-Star Game in 2000 and 2005. Both the United States men's and women's national teams have played numerous matches at Mapfre Stadium, most notably, the 2001 Men's World Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico known as La Guerra Fria due to sub-freezing temperatures. During the 2003 Women's World Cup, the stadium was one of the venues used during the group stage of the tournament.

Mapfre Stadium has also hosted events outside of professional soccer. The NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Championship was held at Mapfre Stadium in 2001 and 2003. In 2002, it hosted the Steinfeld Cup, the championship game of Major League Lacrosse. In June 2010, MAPFRE Stadium hosted the inaugural USA Sevens Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational.[10]

The venue is a regular site for Ohio High School Athletic Association state championship tournaments in both American football and soccer. In the local Columbus area, it is the site for the annual Westerville Football Classic, featuring the Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South, and New Albany football teams. It has also been host to the local high school football rivalry of parochial schools Bishop Watterson High School and St. Francis DeSales High School.

The stadium also hosts numerous concerts annually, including Rock on the Range, an annual festival of performances by rock bands, and concerts by Rascal Flatts to close out the Ohio State Fair in 2006, 2007 and 2009. A permanent stage, built in 2008, was constructed in the north end of the stadium to accommodate concerts after the closing of Germain Amphitheater. The addition replaced about 2,100 seats in the north end.

2003 FIFA Women's World Cup

The 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup was played in the United States. Mapfre Stadium hosted several group game matches.

Date Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Spectators
September 20, 2003 Germany  4-1  Canada Group C 16,409
Japan  6-0  Argentina
September 24, 2003 Germany  3-0  Japan 15,529
Canada  3-0  Argentina
September 28, 2003 Sweden  3-0  Nigeria Group A 22,828
North Korea  0-3  United States

U.S. men's national soccer team

The crowd performs a card display prior to the 2018 World Cup qualifier between the United States MNT and Mexico on November 11, 2016 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Since the opening of Mapfre Stadium, it has been a regular site for the United States men's national soccer team matches, hosting ten games through 2013. The men's national team held an unbeaten record of 8-3-0 in all competitions, outscoring opponents 19-1. This was until the U.S. was beaten by Mexico on Veterans Day 2016. The stadium has hosted five consecutive World Cup qualifying matches against Mexico, with the U.S. winning four of the five matches by the same score of 2-0 (with the U.S. fans adopting the rallying cry of dos-a-cero). The national team was beaten by Mexico on November 11, 2016, by a score of 1-2, prompting Mexico's first ever win in Columbus, and the U.S.'s first World Cup qualifying defeat on home soil in 15 years. It hosted a 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Guatemala on March 29, 2016, which the US won, 4-0.

MLS Cup Finals

Since the opening of Mapfre Stadium, it has hosted two MLS Cup Finals; once as a neutral site, and once as home side Columbus Crew SC played host. The latter occurred following a 2012 MLS rules change which did away with a neutral site for the Final, and instead has the club with the best overall regular season record hosting the match.

Date Teams Competition Attendance
October 21, 2001 LA Galaxy 1-2 San Jose Earthquakes 2001 MLS Cup Final 21,626
December 6, 2015 Columbus Crew SC 1-2 Portland Timbers 2015 MLS Cup Final 21,747

Notes

  • The stadium features a 384 ft² (36 m²) video board as well as a 32 ft (10 m) of scrolling matrix board.
  • It took 274 days from groundbreaking to the inaugural game (9 months, 1 day).
  • The stadium facade is 48 ft (15 m) and its bleachers reach a height of 66 ft. MAPFRE stadium is built on a 15-acre (61,000 m²) site.
  • The first goal was scored by Jeff Cunningham during the inaugural game.[13]
  • The April 27, 2013 match against D.C. United at the stadium was delayed by 50 minutes after a fire broke out in a speaker cabinet on the south scoreboard. Firefighters controlled the blaze immediately, and the match went on as scheduled.[14]

References

  1. ^ "Contemporary Services Corporation Partners with MAPFRE Stadium". Contemporary Services Corporation. April 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Columbus Crew Media Guide
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800-". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Jardy, Adam (March 3, 2015). "Crew's home has new name: Mapfre Stadium". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ "S2015 Field of the Year winners named by STMA". Retrieved 2016. 
  6. ^ Nuttall, Ian (2010). "Ten From 10". Retrieved 2015. 
  7. ^ Beck, Aaron (January 10, 2008). "Crew Stadium adds concert stage". Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2015. 
  8. ^ "Matchday - About Crew SC and MAPFRE Stadium". 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ "Introducing MAPFRE Stadium: Columbus Crew SC reveals historic stadium naming rights partnership with MAPFRE Insurance". ColumbusCrewSC.com. March 3, 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  10. ^ "USA 7's Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational 2010". Retrieved 2010. 
  11. ^ "USA vs Ecuador, June 7, 2001". 
  12. ^ "USA vs Paraguay, July 6, 2003". 
  13. ^ "mlsnet.com's inaugural game recap". Archived from the original on January 13, 2007. Retrieved 2007. 
  14. ^ "STATEMENT: Club response to scoreboard fire at Crew Stadium". Retrieved 2013. 

External links


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