TROLL TUESDAY: Columbus Crew Stadium has got to go

Jamie Sabau

It was nice while it lasted, but the dinosaur relic of a failed civic experiment is taking up valuable real estate that could really help redevelop Columbus. Or better yet, help the Ohio State football team.

Ed. note – About a week or so ago back, we welcomed our former contributor, D.J. Byrnes (that is to say the guy that wrote a 300 page book about dead president Warren G. Harding being resurrected to enter into warfare with mystical cocaine reallocation specialists), back into the fold, for a special one time engagement to complain about what he hated about the Columbus suburbs as only he can with our own Matt Brown. Far too many of you (n > 0) took this completely nonsensical satire with great umbrage, ribbing the quality of humor of the writers, the grammar/writing quality of the rest of this site, and our loyalty to Columbus as a whole. We're sorry your first day on the Internet was so hard.

Rather than wait for more mainstream columnists (or us, somewhat inadvertently) to deliberately bait you into further blind Internet anger, following the lead of the mothership, we believe it's our civic duty to set the curve ourselves – and do so shamelessly. On Troll Tuesdays, we'll attempt to construct tomorrow's blatant attempt at pageviews today, building the worst inflammatory argument possible one single-spaced sentence at a time.

The staff of Land-Grant Holy Land live all over the United States, and come from varied professional backgrounds.

One thing that brings us all together is our shared love of The Ohio State University, which of course resides in beautiful Columbus, Ohio.

We all want the best for our university, and the surrounding community, which means we take a special interest in making sure that Columbus can be all that it can be.

Right now, there is an obstacle preventing the city from truly achieving greatness, which you've probably seen driving on 71: It's Columbus Crew Stadium, and quite frankly, it has to go.

"You can't get rid of Crew Stadium!," you might just say. "It was the first soccer-only stadium in the country! It is an integral part of Columbus' history!"

I'm sure the farms that used to occupy downtown were integral in the development of Columbus too, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have razed them so we could build things like the Leveque Tower, or casinos.

That real estate, just a few blocks east of campus and right next to our illustrious state fair grounds, is just too valuable to tie up in a glorified civic side project that couldn't generate enough community interest to warrant naming rights.

If it was so special, why isn't it Nationwide Stadium? Cardinal Health Park? Wendy's Field?

Not even they wanted it. So why waste our time?

Ohio State Buckeyes football is the major economic and cultural engine of the 614 area code. Converting Crew Stadium into additional parking or tailgating space would make the game day experience run smoother, and allow more fans to partake in one of the midwest's greatest traditions.

Finding a parking space around Lane Avenue is a huge headache. An additional tailgating hub would also be the catalyst we need to spur additional development in an often less-than-stellar neighborhood.

Think about what the universally acclaimed South Campus Gateway did for High Street.

We could have a Gateway East on the grounds of the old soccer stadium, full of parking, shopping, upscale chain restaurants, maybe even another Raising Cane's. Do you not want another Cane's in your city? You'd be lying if you said otherwise.

We don't necessarily have to level the stadium either. Devotees of real football (not communist kickball) know that the Columbus metro area has fallen behind Cincinnati and Cleveland in high school football talent and program quality.

Turning Crew Stadium into a 100% full-time high school stadium would allow additional exposure for Columbus's best programs, which will in turn create future Buckeyes, which run the city.

DeSales! Watterson! Under the bright lights of the Arch City! The Discovery City!

Plus, the Columbus City Schools could use it as an additional communal field, helping our disadvantaged students, and saving taxpayers money. In these trying economic times, surely that's something that both major political parties can get behind.

We could even finish what we started, and just convert the stadium into a permanent concert venue. Rip out the stupid bluegrass field, rearrange the seats, and make a new Germain Amphitheater, without those pesky soccer markings messing up the experience.

We could make Rock on the Range a monthly event in the summer, or invite Columbus' native sons, Rascal Flatts or O.A.R., to provide living, breathing, shrines to civic pride on a bi-monthly basis.

"But where will the Crew go?," surely some misguided souls will ask. Being a true Columbusite means asking yourself the hard questions. Did we ever really like soccer, or did we merely like the idea of soccer?

Having a soccer team makes the city seem particularly cosmopolitanism and enlightened, and we don't want to begrudge the people of Columbus that opportunity.

If it helps us turn our noses down at Cincinnati, it's hard not to endorse it. It's just possible to have that idea somewhere else. We've read suggestions of moving the stadium downtown near the Arena district, and while we don't really see any room to build, that idea isn't necessarily bad.

There are more practical options though. The venerable Cooper Stadium is just begging for a worthy tenet, and the Crew might just be a perfect fit.

One of many proud Columbus suburbs would probably be more than happy to offer up a municipal field as well.

At the heart of it all though, where the Crew end up is immaterial. What matters is what's best for the future of our fair city.

What's good for Ohio State is good for Columbus. And what's good for Columbus is good for the very heart of America.

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