More than 700 million dollars is the proposed investment it will take to build a new Crew stadium and renovate the current stadium. But, instead of residents footing the whole bill, the money will come from what's called a public private partnership.

“A public private partnership would be the public paying for a portion of a stadium or an arena, and the private side would be corporations coming into assist with the funding,” says Executive Director of the AECOM Center for Sports Management at Ohio University Jim Kahler. 

Kahler previously worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers as they worked to build the Gateway Sports Complex with Progressive Field and the Quicken Loans arena. In Cleveland, he says the city used a slightly different strategy.

“We did that through a sin tax with the public, the tax was on the alcohol and tobacco,” says Kahler. “And then the private side money came from the sale of luxury seats and club seats.”

Cleveland had taxpayers on tap for around half of the 175 million for the sports complex.

 “Today you see owners of professional sports franchises taking more of their own money,” says Kahler. “So if you take the ratio going back to 1994 when the new ballpark open and the new arena opened, there would have been much  more public participation.”

That's the case in Columbus for a deal that is still not final. A private investment ownership group led by the Haslam and Edwards family - including crew physician Pete Edwards Jr. - dedicated 645 million dollars to the project. The city of Columbus and Franklin County will each put forth 50 million, and the state approved 15 million for the stadium.

“We wouldn't have been able to do it had the Save the Crew movement not really raise awareness, not just within the city of Columbus, but nationally,” says Columbus City Councilmember Emmanuel Remy.

Remy says the city's contribution won't go to the stadium directly, but for infrastructure needs like sewer and water. The city funds will also go to renovate the current home of the crew, Mapfre stadium, into a community sports park.

“It's long been a desire especially for someone that lives on the north side that we have a community park,” says Remy. “One that has soccer fields, indoor facilities, meeting rooms, basketball courts, so kids have a place to go and really get involved with sports.” 

Remy says that changes in the area around Mapfre stadium could coincide with the new Community Sports Complex, which won’t be constructed until the new Crew Stadium is built. On Hudson Street, City Council approved funding for a plan to redesign the corridor that runs directly through the Linden neighborhood.

 “I believe building that complex and bringing back sports into the Linden area with the youth and making it large, would help with what you currently have going on with the youth not having anything to do,” says Linda Nelson from Pyramid Community Development Corporation, a Linden-based organization. 

In addition to the complex, a different project will route $650,000 from the city's streets and highways bond fund to  redesign Hudson street from I-71 to Cleveland Avenue. Nelson says these projects could bring positive change for the neighborhood’s businesses and residents.

You have to look at the businesses that do construction work, or do I.T. work that can be a part of this new development,” says Nelson, whose non-profit helps residents gain basic and advanced tech skills. “You have youth that can be able to get internships and jobs over there. The community would benefit 100%.”

Nelson says she hopes people in Linden can take advantage of the opportunities to come.

“I think it's extremely huge and I think everyone needs to understand that they gotta get on board, and they have to get themselves and their small businesses ready for the development,” says Nelson, who runs a pop-up shop in Worthington that funds the Pyramid CDC projects.

The county is set to approve its contribution to the public-private partnership next week, and backers hope that the project brings a new era not just for the crew, but for the city and the region.