The Crew's first season at new downtown Lower.com Field ends Sunday. A match against the Chicago Fire will cap a streak of attendance the team hasn't seen consistently since its debut in 1996.
Why it matters: It's a Cinderella story for an organization that almost left town. In 2017, then-owner Anthony Precourt planned to move the team to Austin, Texas, a controversial proposal that birthed the #SaveTheCrew movement.
- Now Lower.com Field is injecting new energy into the team, its fans and the city's Arena District.
By the numbers: Heading into Sunday, the Crew have averaged 18,870 fans at 12 games at Lower.com Field.
- The only season with better average attendance was 1996's 18,950 per game.
Our take: We went to the Sept. 14 win against the New York Red Bulls and were so impressed by fans who kept the game intensity high from whistle to whistle. If anyone deserves a beautiful brand-new stadium, it's them.
- There isn't a bad seat in the house. And it's loud.
- The local food options are awesome. Enjoy Hot Chicken Takeover or a Schmidt's Bahama Mama and wash it down with a lager from Land-Grant Brewing Company.
- 🎺 One of Tyler's highlights was playing with the Nordecke Brass section last month.
Meanwhile, the stadium is a boon to the Arena District businesses that are packed before kickoff time. The option to take a beer to-go, thanks to new outdoor drinking rules, probably doesn't hurt, either.
If you go: Kickoff for the last home game of the season is 3:30pm Sunday. Tickets are still available.
The intrigue: Columbus still has a chance — albeit a small one — to make the playoffs at 12-8-13.
- If the Crew win and the New York Red Bulls lose by a combined seven goals they would qualify, according to The Columbus Dispatch's Crew reporter.
Editor's note: This piece was corrected to show the kickoff time for the Crew's game is at 3:30 (not 7:30) on Sunday.
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