Tonight, Crew Stadium hosts the 2013 Girls and Boys Columbus City League Soccer Championships in an effort to give back to the community with an event the Black & Gold have hosted for nearly a decade.
League championship play kicks off at 5:30 p.m. ET, as the Briggs High School Bruins take on the Lions of Columbus International in the boys’ match, with the Centennial Stars facing off against the Braves of Whetstone High School at 7:30 p.m. ET. in the girls’ game.
Teams arrive at 4:45 p.m. ET and gates will open to the general public at 5:00 p.m. ET. Admission for the event is $6.00 per person with proceeds going to the Columbus Municipal School District.
“For a lot of these teams – this is their opportunity to play in this stadium,” said Crew Stadium General Manager Ryan Smith. “This is an opportunity for us to welcome the City of Columbus, who is a great partner of ours and has helped out with a lot of different events that we do, and to have them come out and [have] the best two teams for the boys and girls play their championship here.”
While much planning goes into the preparation of the stadium for all the year's events, the Black & Gold staff is treating tonight’s matches as they would for any other contest held in Crew Stadium.
“The field itself is identical to a Crew game or USA-Mexico – there’s no difference there,” said Smith. “The guests that do come out for this - regardless of the size of the event - we want to make sure they are taken care of.”
Continued Smith, “I love the event because it is cool to see the kids when they walk out onto the field for the first time."
“It is pretty cool to see their faces and the excitement they have when they walk through the gates – just to be in the venue, knowing that it is game time and game time on a big field.”
As the Ohio Expo Center hosts the All-American Quarter Horse Congress event next door to Crew Stadium, fans are encouraged to enter through the Hudson Street entrance on the north side of Crew Stadium.