Columbus Crew will play Thursday’s match at MAPFRE Stadium without fans


Posted: Aug 17, 2020 / 05:48 PM EDT / Updated: Aug 17, 2020 / 05:48 PM EDT

2015 MLS Cup - Portland Timbers v Columbus Crew SC_358822

COLUMBUS, OH – DECEMBER 6: Fans of Columbus Crew SC cheer before the 2015 MLS Cup between the Columbus Crew SC and the Portland Timbers on December 6, 2015 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Following the announcement of Columbus Crew SC’s upcoming schedule of matches, the Club announced Monday that fans will not be permitted to attend the Crew’s first “Return to Play” match against the Chicago Fire on Thursday, August 20.

Additionally, the parking lots at MAPFRE Stadium will be closed to supporters for this match. The Club will make an announcement at a later date when it knows more regarding its potential ability to allow supporters at future Crew home matches in Phase 1, including games against the Philadelphia Union on September 2 and FC Cincinnati on September 6.

We have spent significant time, energy and resources on the development of a robust return to stadium plan that prioritizes the health and well-being of our players, fans and community. However, given the current state of the pandemic, we will not be hosting fans at our match this Thursday night.

We will certainly miss having our supporters cheer us on from the stands in our first game back in Columbus. As we move forward, we will continue to prioritize their health and safety while we navigate the challenges of the current pandemic. As things develop, we will continue to work with MLS as well as our local government and health authorities to determine whether we will be able to host fans at MAPFRE Stadium at some point during the season.

Tim Bezbatchenko, Crew SC President and General Manager

Crew SC’s re-opening preparedness at MAPFRE Stadium is guided by seven principles:

  1. Physical separation, which includes a reduced capacity and specific circulation plan to maximize six feet physical distancing inside the stadium
  2. Face coverings, which are required for everyone in the stadium
  3. Health screenings, which include daily temperature screenings and symptom monitoring for all staff, as well as a fan health promise
  4. Robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout the venue
  5. Comprehensive hygiene protocols for all supporters and staff
  6. Clear signage and communication, including way-finding, posted education and protocol materials that will be posted for fans and staff
  7. Accountability and flexibility in the form of robust plan governance, compliance and audit protocols along with continuous review and adjustment to evolving circumstances

In light of MLS’s recent release of the revised “2020 Return to Play” schedule [Updated Crew Schedule] and because any future 2020 matches played in front of fans at MAPFRE Stadium will be at reduced capacity, all tickets to future 2020 matches will be issued as new tickets. With respect to any future 2020 Crew SC home matches that are played with fans, Crew SC will offer Season Ticket Members the opportunity to purchase tickets in waves based on tenure. Supporters with questions may contact the Membership Services Team at 614-447-2739, ext. 1 or or visit for updated information.

Here’s a look at Crew SC’s upcoming 2020 MLS regular-season matches in Phase One:

Thursday, August 20 CHICAGO FIRE FOX Sports Ohio 7:30 p.m.
Monday, August 24 @ New York City FC FOX Sports Ohio 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 29 @ FC Cincinnati SportsTime Ohio 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, September 2 PHILADELPHIA UNION FOX Sports Ohio 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 6 FC CINCINNATI SportsTime Ohio 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 12 @ Chicago Fire SportsTime Ohio 7:30 p.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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