What's new with the Crew? Stadium enhancements await fans on Saturday
Fans flocking to Crew Stadium for First Kick 2012 on Saturday will find all of the fun and excitement to which they’ve become accustomed, along with a plethora of improvements and enhancements to the historic venue now entering its 14th season of operation. From LED field boards and other signage to an expanded concessions menu, fans will find surprises at every turn.
A new layout and elements on the Crew Kicker Plaza for pregame festivities will be the first thing most fans will notice. It will feature something for most demographics – live bands at every game (adult), a new 30’x60’ dasherboard-enclosed soccer field (teen) and an interactive zone and Rally Corner, with face painting, temporary tattoos and sign painting (youth). The plaza will also be home to new branded grill stands.
On the food front, the club has worked with its concessionaire, Sodexo, to add exciting new menu items, including chicken and buffalo chicken gyros, double cheeseburgers, half-pound foot-long hot dogs, loaded nachos, pretzel sticks with garlic butter or marinara sauce, philly or chicken cheesesteaks, tacos and chicken tacos, boneless buffalo chicken baskets and Kona Ice (at select games).
The LED field boards are comprised of more than 550 feet of Panasonic LED cabinets surrounding the field from the northeast corner to the southeast corner. Their movement, color and animation will be a dynamic addition to both the game presentation and telecasts on new regional TV broadcast partner FOX Sports Ohio.
New graphics, signage and banners can be found throughout the building, as well, celebrating the club, its stadium and their histories. In addition to the color they provide, they are sure to inspire many fond memories.
The Crew has retained American Fireworks to provide enhanced pyrotechnics for player introductions, goals and following most games. It will also enhance the annual Red, White & Crew show, which will be held this year on Saturday, June 30, with the entire show choreographed to music.
The Crew Action Team is a new promotional troupe, made up primarily of college students with excellent soccer skills, which will energize the crowd and interact with fans through the sport of soccer. They will perform skills and tricks and engage with fans, both on game day and at community events and festivals.
Crew Soccer Foundation Field is a new 80’x120’ FieldTurf mini-field on the west side of the stadium grounds, just north of the Stadium Club tent, created to provide quality recreational outlets and soccer programming for at-risk youth in underserved Columbus neighborhoods, including Linden. As part of that effort, the CSF Heroes League, presented by Lifeline of Ohio, will be launched this summer. The league will emphasize the importance of teamwork, respect, integrity, diversity, perseverance and living a healthy lifestyle. An opening ceremony will be held on Saturday, beginning at 2:45 p.m., and all fans and media in attendance are invited to attend.