If you’ve never thought of Columbus, Ohio as a major travel destination, think again: Mapfre Stadium hosts sports events and concerts well worth the trip.
It is used primarily for soccer games, serving as the home field to Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew. This stadium is already considered a modern classic, as it was the first soccer-specific stadium that was built for a professional soccer team during the second professional era of American soccer. It first opened its doors in 1999, and since then this prestigious stadium has hosted many professional and amateur soccer games, as well American football, rugby, and lacrosse games.
In addition to sports events, Mapfre Stadium is known for being a premiere venue for large outdoor concerts. The north end zone has a permanent stage, making it an ideal location for large events. With a seating capacity of 19,968 people, Mapfre Stadium is perfect for hosting the biggest music names in the business. One major event that is often held at Mapfre Stadium is the Rock on the Range music festival, which regularly features a variety of mainstream rock bands, and some classic names too.
Mapfre Stadium is widely regarded as one of the best places in the country to see a professional soccer game. The spartan design offers a spread out design that makes every seat in the house a winner. The award-winning grounds crew is known for keeping the pitch immaculately maintained. The steel seating amplifies the crowd's voices, giving the home crowd a volume advantage over the visitors. This no-frills park provides Crew fans with an unobstructed view of the game, making it the perfect place for avid soccer fans to enjoy a game.
There are plenty of seating options available to fit any budget. You can purchase standard seats in the south end, or pay a little bit more for the wide-range view that the upper decks on the sideline provide. Many soccer fans prefer the elevated seats so that they can see the entire scope of what is happening on the field. It is also a good idea to consider sitting in the upper deck if you do not want to be surrounded by wild fans who may be screaming, chanting, singing, and so on. If you are a more vocal supporter, you may want to sit at a lower level.
Getting There and Getting In
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Parking & Directions
Mapfre Stadium is located at 1 Black and Gold Blvd, Columbus, Ohio. Accessing the stadium is easy, as it is located right off of I-71, 5 minutes east of the Ohio State campus. If you are coming from downtown Columbus, you may want to consider taking 4th St north to 17th Ave or Hudson St, rather than trying to navigate the popular High St. This is usually going to save you some time. Of course, you should leave at least an hour earlier than you would assume, just to be sure. Vehicle and pedestrian traffic can get quite congested, especially during a major event.
Parking runs $10 to park on-site, as there are no other places in the area to park. Some guests prefer to park away from the stadium and then take a taxi cab to the venue, rather than paying parking fees and waiting in line. There are usually lines to get out of the lots, so it is a good idea to either leave the event a little bit early, or just take your time leaving.
Reminder to Guests
Mapfre Stadium does not allow outside food or beverages, so be sure to plan in advance. Prohibited items include backpacks, coolers, duffel bags, briefcases, luggage of any kind, illegal substances, weapons of any kind, drums, noisemakers, and anything else that the staff deems inappropriate. Photography is allowed, as long as the camera's lens does not exceed 12”. If you are not sure about a rule, simply talk to the staff beforehand so that there is no confusion.
On the Menu
Fans who visit Mapfre Stadium can expect to find all of the traditional sporting event fare, like hot dogs, popcorn, soft pretzels, nachos, pulled-pork BBQ sandwiches, Italian sausages, and other essentials. However, there have also been some recent upgrades to the menu as of late. For example, Mapfre Stadium has partnered up with Papa John's Pizza and White Castle so that attendees can enjoy some of their favorite pizzas and burgers while they watch the game. Before every season, this stadium is known for coming up with new improvements to the menu.
Patrons who are 21 and older can also enjoy a variety of beers, cocktails, and even seasonal cocktails and mixed drinks. Of course, non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Mapfre Stadium also has an excellent catering program that is perfect for corporate functions, bachelor parties, meetings and seminars, or any other event that might require plenty of food for a large group of people.