We are fortunate to have an MLS Soccer Team close to home. The Columbus Crew is even a pretty good team, as far as US Soccer Teams go. My kids both play soccer and enjoy it, so The Crew is generally always a hit with them.
Unfortunately for the Crew/Fortunately for you – the games all seem to have light attendance, so you aren’t generally dealing with long lines for the bathroom or food. Traffic getting out of there can be a bit slow, but really it isn’t terrible. Before the games start there are generally lots of activities going on right inside the gates – bounce houses, places to kick a soccer ball, entertainment. So, allow some pre-game time. After a lot of the games, kids can go down to the field and kick balls at the goal. This takes a little time and is a long line, but it is kind of cool to be on the big field kicking a soccer ball.
Soccer is played from about the beginning of March until the end of October, but not a lot of games are at home. Check the schedule early in the season and make a plan to go to a game. I’ve also put games that are possibilities for us on my calendar so that i have them as ideas if we have nothing else to do that day.
On this trip, Kira won 4 tickets at a soccer camp, so our entrance was free. Online tickets are $25 – $50 depending on where you sit. You can often find coupons at grocery stores or through special deals. Games don’t come anywhere close to selling out, so buy tickets at the gate and avoid some of the fees.
Parking was $10 (cash). Food is ‘Stadium Food’ prices = $$$$. You can’t carry in any food. So, eat before you go and just suck it up, this is going to cost you. A bottle of water is $4..just to give you an idea. There are a couple of souvenir stands as well, if you want an expensive token of your visit.
What to bring:
- All bags are searched when you enter. I typically try to travel light, just my camera and wallet so that I reduce the hassle at the gate.
- If you go in the spring or fall, it gets colder than you think in the stands. If you go in the summer, you may be sitting in full sun. Prepare for weather accordingly.
- They ID everyone who buys beer, so make sure your ID is handy if you are going to drink, even if you are well over 21.
The kids love going to the games. Kira really doesn’t watch the game at all, but Eric watches ever moment of it then talks about it for days afterwards.
I do enjoy going to sporting events, but the cost kills me. The Crew stadium is generally pretty clean, bathrooms are plentiful, and the lines are short for food unless you are at 1/2 time. There isn’t a lot of variety in the food, but the basics are there. Overall, this is an enjoyable evening for me as well.