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Columbus Crew engages Legends to aid stadium development

Major League Soccer (MLS) club Columbus Crew has signed the latest commercial deal for the development of its new stadium by forging a partnership with the Legends agency.

Legends will handle project development and commercial sales rights for the new stadium and team training facility in the Ohio city. Specifically, Legends will work with the Crew across project planning and development, sponsorship and ticket sales, naming rights, marketing, technology innovations, data insights and analytics.

Legends has already delivered key business intelligence data on planning and design for the future stadium through its proprietary approach to gathering targeted market-specific information. By conducting focus groups, surveys and utilising other research-driven tools Legends has been able to analyse feedback from Columbus Crew ticket holders, fans and the broader Columbus, Ohio community.

Tim Bezbatchenko, Columbus Crew president and general manager, said: “Legends’ proven track record in the sports and entertainment space is highly regarded and will enable us to achieve the success needed on the ground level to ensure our long-term vision that will benefit the community and fans that have pledged to save and support the team.”

Mike Tomon, Legends’ chief operating officer, added: “Our belief in the synergies of Legends overall 360 platform, engaged with a formidable club business such as Crew SC, creates the opportunity to truly showcase the inherent partnership value an integrated approach to planning, sales and operations can achieve for a project.”

The new Columbus Crew stadium is expected to be completed in 2021 and will be located in the Downtown Arena District. The new venue will include 20,000 seats, a team store, and outdoor public plaza space for social gathering.

The Crew’s current Mapfre Stadium, which opened in 1999 as the first soccer-specific stadium built for an MLS team, will be redeveloped as a community sports park and new state-of-the-art training facility for the franchise.

Legends Global Planning will oversee design and construction of the stadium and the team training facility.  Legends Global Sales will manage all commercial rights including sales, marketing and sponsorship assets for the training facility and the stadium.

The Legends deal comes after the Crew engaged IBM Services and IBM iX earlier this month to create a vision for the design and technology to transform the fan experience at its new stadium.