By Linda Dillman
With a new soccer stadium and state-of-the-art training facility scheduled to open this summer, the Columbus Crew will soon bid farewell to its Obetz training center near the village municipal office complex.
On June 8, 2020, ground broke on the Crew’s OhioHealth Performance Center, which is scheduled to open this summer. According to the Crew organization, the 42,000 square foot training center is located on the team’s existing stadium site near the state fairgrounds. It features a locker room, film room, player and performance areas, lounges, sleep/recovery room, weight room and equipment rooms for the Crew Academy, along with a media center and Crew headquarters.
The performance center also features two natural grass fields supported by hydronic heating, one natural grass field and artificial turf for academy use, and a seasonal bubble over the stadium field.
As to the fate of the professional soccer club’s current training facility in Obetz—which was leased by the Crew from the village starting in 1997—that has yet to be determined according to Obetz Village Administrator Rod Davisson. The agreement ends in December.
“It depends upon what Obetz decides to do with it,” said Davisson. “There are a lot of good ideas, but no decision yet.”
When asked why Obetz was chosen as the original host site for the Crew facility, Davisson said it was because of “relationships with developers.”
The Obetz training complex consists of a 5,000 square foot office building and two full size lighted fields.
Other sites in the Obetz park inventory include the Area 51 disc golf course; Memorial Park with athletic fields, trails and a fishing pond stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish; Breahead Nature Preserve; Veteran’s Park; Dixon Quarry; Bridlewood, McFadyen and community center parks; and the Lancaster Park with the first splash pad/ice rink combination in the country.
The Dixon Quarry park includes a six-acre lake stocked with bass, minnows, bluegill, crappie, catfish, and rainbow trout for recreational fishing; an archery range; walking paths; a rentable pavilion; fitness trails and a bike path. For information about village parks, visit www.obetz.oh.us.