Crew celebrates Black & Gold Week with events leading up to First Kick 2012

Graffiti cleanup, pub crawl, scavenger hunts and online chats highlight events

Eddie Gaven

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

The Columbus Crew will be celebrating Black & Gold Week over the course of the next several days, in the form of a series of public events leading up to First Kick 2012, the club’s home opener vs. the Montreal Impact on Saturday, March 24, at Crew Stadium.
 
Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers kicked off the festivities on Monday, March 19, with the first of three midday online chats at TheCrew.com. In the evening, Columbus City Council will present the Crew with a Resolution of Expression, sponsored by council president Andrew J. Ginther, recognizing the club’s first 16 MLS seasons of accomplishment, both on and off the field, and wishing it luck as it embarks upon its 17th. Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers and goalkeeper Matt Lampson, a Hilliard native and former Ohio State star, will be on hand at City Hall to receive the Resolution during Council’s 5 p.m. meeting.
 
On Tuesday, March 20, Crew players, coaches and executives will lend their support and elbow grease to a “Massive Makeover” neighborhood graffiti cleanup from 2 to 5 p.m. The Crew contingent will be joined by  Linden McKinley STEM Academy students and volunteers from the Greater Linden Development Corporation and Linden Village. The project will paint over graffiti tags on property bordered by Cleveland, Dresden, Blake and Maynard.
 
On Wednesday, March 21, Crew head coach Robert Warzycha will participate in the second live chat at TheCrew.com at 1:30, then midfielders Ethan Finlay and Kirk Urso will pay a visit to COSI at 2 p.m. to engage in interactive physical activities with young visitors, and demonstrate the role soccer can play in promoting health and wellness.
 
The final Crew season-ticket select-a-seat opportunity prior to First Kick will be held on Thursday, March 22, at 12 Noon, when fans can come to the stadium to evaluate seats and pick their favorite location. The Crew will be finishing up their training session at that time, so fans will be able to catch a glimpse of that, as well. Media credentials and media guide disks will be available following training that day, which will also offer an excellent opportunity to acquire sound and other audio/video content with players and coaches, such as station IDs.
 
The third online chat of the week, on Friday, March 23, at 1 p.m., will feature Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer. That evening, a pub crawl will stop at three Crew Pub Tour partners, before culminating at another – 4th Street Bar & Grill for the 6th Annual Crewsmas Eve Party.
 
The club will be conducting Twitter scavenger hunts throughout the week, too. The Crew will hide a scarf, along with two tickets to First Kick, every day this week (through Friday) within the Columbus metro area. Clues, including a photo of the scarf in the location, will be left on its Twitter account (twitter.com/columbuscrew). Fans are encouraged to find the scarf and tweet a picture of themselves with it.
 
Finally, on game day, Saturday, March 24, fans attending the First Kick match are invited to stop by the Crew Soccer Foundation Field dedication ceremony, which will begin at 2:45 p.m. The new mini-field will provide a unique recreational outlet for children from economically-disadvantaged areas to enjoy soccer programming.
 
Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and has also won the 2002 U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. It opened its 17th season on March 10 at Colorado and kick off its 14th at first-of-its-kind Crew Stadium on March 24 against the Montreal Impact.
 
Schedule of Events
Day                        Time                              Event                                      Location
Mon., March 19       1 p.m.                            Mark McCullers online chat       TheCrew.com
Mon., March 19       5 p.m.                            City Council Resolution            Columbus City Hall
Tues., March 20       2-5 p.m.                         Massive Makeover                   Linden Village
Wed., March 21       1:30 p.m.                        Robert Warzycha online chat    TheCrew.com
Wed., March 21       2-3 p.m.                         Finley, Urso appearance           COSI
Thur., March 22       12 Noon                         Select-a-Seat event                  Crew Stadium
Fri., March 23          1 p.m.                            William Hesmer online chat       TheCrew.com
Fri., March 23          6 p.m.                            Pub crawl *                              Arena District / 4th Street Bar & Grill
Sat., March 24         2:45 p.m.                        CSF Field opening ceremony   Crew Stadium
 
* Pub Crawl schedule
Kildare’s Irish Pub (1576 N. High St., 43215), 6:15-7 p.m.
Three Legged Mare (401 N. Front St., 43215), 7:15-8 p.m.
BBR (106 Vine St., 43215), 8:15 – 9 p.m.
4th Street Bar & Grill (1810 N. 4th St., 43201), 9:15-10 p.m.