Major League Soccer (MLS) club Columbus Crew has revealed a fresh batch of renderings for its new stadium, including details about a first-of-its-kind seating option at the venue.

The Crew yesterday (Tuesday) staged their latest virtual town hall event for the development, which is now around 40% complete and on schedule to open in summer 2021.

The renderings include the North terraces, standing room only areas overlooking the new Nordecke supporters’ section, and the upper concourse of the New Crew Stadium. Located on the west side of the stadium, the Ledge seats, new to a MLS venue, will be located in front of the suites in the midfield area to offer one of the best views of the pitch.

Speaking during the virtual town hall, Matt Schuepbach, senior project designer at design firm HNTB, outlined how the stadium has been drawn up to enhance the fan atmosphere. He said: “The fans at the stadium are as close as possible to the pitch.

“The first row is eight feet closer to the pitch than at MAPFRE (Stadium), and this cascades up to the upper bowl. Even this is 25 to 30 feet closer to the pitch than it was at MAPFRE, so the whole idea of being on top of the action is going to be so intimidating at this venue.”

The Nordecke area has been designed to house the team’s most fervent supporters. The north stand will incorporate standing room terrace decks above this area so fans can feel part of this atmosphere, without being directly immersed in it.

Schuepbach also explained how the New Crew Stadium will incorporate patio-style areas to ensure fans remain engaged with the action, even when they’re away from the pitch. He added: “It was an intentional move from the ownership that fans, when they’re getting concessions, food or walking around the concourse, still have a visual connection to the action on the pitch.

“All concessions and restrooms are pushed to the perimeter, allowing that connection, no matter where you are, to see the pitch.”

The Crew in May revealed more renderings of the stadium after Haslam Sports Group and the Edwards Family, investor-operators of the team, announced the creation of a joint venture for the commercial development of the Confluence Village, which will be located near the new stadium.

The club’s owners made the announcement in conjunction with Columbus-based The Pizzuti Companies. The Confluence Village will be located in downtown Columbus, with the Crew and Pizzuti to transform the area into offices, commercial, residential and green space.

Columbus Crew broke ground on its new 20,000-seat downtown stadium in October, just hours after the club’s owners completed the acquisition of land on which it will sit.

Images: New Crew Stadium