Here are 10 cool features at the new Columbus Crew’s Lower.com Field
Here are our picks for the top features of the Crew’s new stadium
Crew fans who have followed every development of the club’s new Downtown stadium understand just how different Lower.com Field will be from Historic Crew Stadium. But casual observers — or other Columbus sports fans the Crew wants to attract to its new home — might not know what the new venue has to offer.
Here are our picks for the top features of the Crew’s new stadium.
1. Clubs and premium seating
For the fans and businesses who can afford luxury, there are seven different premium-seating options outside of suites. There are five primary areas. The West Field Club, ledge seats and River Club are on the west side of the stadium, while the East Field Club and Rail Club is on the east side.
In addition to parking, cushioned seating and premium dining options, fans in these areas are closest to the action near midfield in the lower bowl. Fans with access to the East Field Club can either sit in the lower bowl or actually on the field in player box seats or pitchside seats close to the team benches. They can also watch teams walk out of the tunnel to the field. There are similar pitchside seats on the west side with an outdoor lounge.
2. Southeast plaza
The Crew designed its new home with the entire calendar in mind, not just the 17-plus games it hosts each season, and a plaza outside the southeast entrance will be the center of entertainment for the Astor Park district.
At 6,200 square feet, the Crew plan to use the plaza for pregame festivities, small concerts and watch parties.
3. The Nordecke
The Crew will have the second-largest supporters’ section in Major League Soccer with nearly 3,356 safe-standing seats in the Nordecke. With the section at a 34-degree angle — 37 degrees at the top — compared to 20 degrees at Crew Stadium, players will feel like the Nordecke is on top of the field. The Nordecke is even larger when including the terraces above the supporters’ section. Up to 150 fans can stand on each of the two terraces.
Not only will almost 3,400 standing fans enrich the atmosphere of games, the Nordecke plans to start a new tradition. Paying homage to the original logo with men in hard hats, a fan will operate a jackhammer on a slab of concrete after each Crew goal, similar to how the supporters of the Portland Timbers use of a chainsaw on a log.
4. Beer garden
When fans aren’t cheering in the Nordecke or on the terraces, they can enjoy their own beer garden in the north end. At 5,600 square feet, it’s not the first in MLS, but it is the largest, according to the club. The beer garden will feature a variety of local and mass-produced brews.
Have you gotten wet at a Crew game in the past? Fear not. There’s a roof. The 220,000-square foot canopy covers every seat in the stadium and should keep noise in, given that the field is sunken into the ground. Fans in the first few rows will likely get wet from wind and rain, but the majority of fans can watch a game and stay dry.
6. Proximity to the pitch
In addition to the stands being at a steeper angle, not just in the Nordecke but also around the stadium, fans are physically closer to the action. Fans in the field level VIP seats are just 16 feet from the field. Fans in the Nordecke are 18 feet from the field. Even at the tallest point in the upper deck on the east side and south end, fans are almost 23 feet and 28 feet closer to the field, respectively, than at Crew Stadium.
7. Crew House pub
Just outside the southeast gate and adjacent to the plaza, Lower.com Field has a soccer-themed pub expected to be used year-round. On the Nationwide Boulevard side of the stadium, the pub, named “Crew House,” can seat 175 and hold between 250 to 300 people.
Lower.com Field has two scoreboards. The main one is located on the south end with a second videoboard in the northeast corner. The high-definition videoboard in the south stands is 24 feet tall and 104 feet wide, compared to Crew Stadium’s main videoboard that is 17 feet tall and 63 feet wide. The second one, located near the Nordecke, is 25 feet tall and 44 feet wide.
9. 'Frictionless' point-of-entry
Fans should have a more seamless transition into the stadium than they're used to at other venues, because the Crew has partnered with security screening company Evolv. Fans will not have to stop and take things out of their pockets before going through metal detectors. Instead, there are scanners that don't require attendees to pause as they walk through, but which alert of any potentially dangerous objects in real time. For ticketing, Crew fans have the option of using facial recognition through Wicket as their pass into the stadium. Another option? The stadium will also have turnstiles where fans can scan their phones, similar to getting on an airplane.
10. Family spaces
For families with children, there are two sensory rooms, two nurseries and a 1,000-square foot play room that the Crew developed with COSI.