Columbus Foundation president Doug Kridler is floating a site for a publicly-financed downtown soccer stadium to keep the Crew SC in Columbus.
The proposed site between North 6th and 5th Streets is a parking lot owned by Abbott Labs. Crew owner Anthony Precort has threatened to move the team to Texas unless a privately-financed stadium is built downtown. The plan would have the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation purchase a 6-month site option for 500 thousand dollars that would come from the foundation. The county, city, state and Precourt would share the costs of building the stadium. The proposal has not been discussed with city leaders, and they are not commenting. Franklin County Commissioners have already said they will not use sales tax money to fund a stadium. In the late 1990's, Columbus and Dublin voters rejected proposals to use public dollars to build a soccer stadium for the Crew. The foundation is an underwriter of some of WCBE's programming.