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Crew Stadium Memories

May 7, 2009

The Crew are celebrating 10 years in Crew Stadium this weekend. The team is rolling back prices to 1999 for tickets, parking, hot dogs and the like. It looks to be a great night against a good team. I won’t be talking about the game yet, but I will take some time to reminisce. I admit upfront that I am blatantly ripping off Chris DeVille’s much better article on 10 greatest Crew Stadium moments.

I became a Crew fan a little later than some. I moved to Columbus in 2000 and I went to my first game a couple year later, so I missed the entire Ohio Stadium experience and the opening of the stadium, but I still have some good memories. I guess this is my most memorable moments in Crew Stadium history.

June 19th, 2002 – Crew 1 – Kansas City 1: My first Crew game, Buck-a-Brat, a beautiful evening, and I was hooked.

June 21st, 2002 – Germany 1 – USA 0: Watching with the thousands at the Crew Stadium viewing party was awesome. The World Cup felt like an event.

October 24th, 2002 – Crew 1 – LA 0: Crew win the Open Cup, yes I was there with about a half dozen people to see the Crew win their first silverware. I still remember how cold it was.

April 5th, 2003 – Crew 1 – LA 1: I think it snowed. It was so cold and windy. The wife and I still talk about how miserable it was.

June 30th, 2004 – Crew 2 – Syracuse 1: “Denton’s Finger”

May 14th, 2005 – Crew 0 – Kansas City 4: The only game I ever walked out of before it ended. The Manny Lagos sub, down 3-0,  in the 73rd minute was the final straw.

September 3rd, 2005 – USA 2 – Mexico 0: I always regretted missing out on the Guerra Fria and wasn’t going to miss this one. A perfect night for soccer.

April 24th, 2007 – Crew 0 – LA 1: Not a memorable game, it was an Open Cup loss, but it was notable for two firsts, it was my first game as a full season ticket holder and it was the first game I ever saw Schelotto (sure, he was in street clothes, but still)

April 12th, 2008 – Crew 4 – Chivas USA 3: This set the lowest attendance record of any regular Crew game. It was wet and cold, but it was one of the best games I think I have ever seen.

November 13th, 2008 – Crew 2 – Chicago 1: No one sat for the entire second. Everyone stood, it was electric.

I have seen a lot of games there over the years. A lot of bad soccer and lot of good soccer. It may be bare bones, with a bad parking lot, no roof, and a big stage (now), but Columbus Crew Stadium has always felt like home.

It has a simplicity in design, the arching stadium lights, the yellow and black awnings, the perfectly manicured grass, a passionate crowd, and the team in yellow playing the beautiful game. I can never drive by without sneaking a peek. I look forward to buck-a-brat nights, Open Cup matches, and the big games. It’s truly a fitting home to the Crew, the memory of Lamar Hunt, and soccer in America.

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Columbus Crew Stadium - Fahmi/Studio79

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