The Columbus Crew soccer club has been part of the MLS since the leagues inception in 1993.
Besides being one of the ten first MLS franchises, the Crew were the first MLS team to make a
soccer specific stadium to sell Columbus Crew tickets in, a trend that late was later followed by
the majority of teams. Before the team played a single game they had already sold over 12,000
season ticket deposits of Columbus Crew tickets.
The team got off to a hot start that included selling 25,266 Columbus Crew tickets for their
home opener. After starting the season with a win, they went on a losing skid and actually fired
their head coach mid-season and went on to win 9 of their final 10 games with a new coach.
The team’s first postseason success didn’t come until 2002, when the won the U.S. Open Cup
vs. the LA Galaxy, the team who had just won the MLS Cup a week earlier. After the Crew lost
star player Brian McBride to Fulham F.C. of the English Premier League in 2003, they added
Robin Fraiser who went on the win the MLS Defender of the Year award and helped the Crew
finish with 49 season points, the most in team history.
After three more seasons of mediocrity, the Crew were able to sign key players prior to the
2007 season and won their first MLS Cup in team history in 2008 even though the sale of
Columbus Crew tickets declined once again.
As previously mentioned, the Crew were the first MLS franchise to construct their own soccer
specific stadium and sold Columbus Crew tickets in Columbus Crew stadium for the first time in
1999. At construction the stadium cost a total of $28.5 million, petty change when compared
to other professional sports stadiums, but can only seat 20,145 fans who purchase Columbus
The Crew spent their first three seasons playing at Ohio Stadium, the home to the Ohio State
Buckeyes football team. As the stadium was designed for football play, it was never very
popular among Crew fans and they finally got a new stadium when team owner Lamar Hunt
started construction on a soccer only stadium to sell Columbus Crew tickets in the winter
of 1998. While the stadium was smartly constructed to host just soccer, it has also gained
revenue hosting concerts, lacrosse, and rugby.
Fan support for the Crew has been up and down throughout the team’s existence. In the early
years while still at Ohio Stadium the team averaged 12,000 Columbus Crew tickets sold per
home game, and since moving to their own stadium have averaged just under 15,000 Columbus
Crew tickets sold per home game. The highest point in attendance for the Crew came in 2002
when they led the league in attendance just shy of 21,000 fans per home game.
Some of the more notable events held at Columbus Crew Stadium includes the 2000 and 2005
MLS All-Star Game, the 2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship, and numerous U.S. Men’s
and Woman’s national team matches.