One year ago today, Columbus Crew SC announced MAPFRE Insurance as its stadium naming rights partner. On March 3, just in time for the 2015 MLS season, Crew Stadium became MAPFRE Stadium.
And what a year it’s been since!
MAPFRE Stadium set a number of records over the past 12 months. Including the playoffs and MLS Cup, MAPFRE Stadium sold out seven times in 2015, setting a new club record for most combined regular-season and postseason sellouts in one campaign.
The First Leg of the Eastern Conference Championship between Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls set an all-time postseason attendance record for a single Black & Gold match with 21,617.
That number was eclipsed just two weeks later when MAPFRE Stadium hosted the MLS Cup final between Crew SC and the Portland Timbers in front of 21,747. It was only the second time that Columbus hosted the season finale, and the first time that Crew SC played for the Cup in front of its home crowd.
Including the playoffs and MLS Cup, a total of 351,137 people attended Crew SC matches at MAPFRE Stadium this year. That’s a stadium and club record, as well.
2016 promises to be just as exciting. Crew SC will host the Philadelphia Union for Opening Match on Saturday, March 12. Bleacher seats have been installed on the stage next to the Nordecke. Expect a raucous crowd at MAPFRE Stadium.
Two and half weeks later, on March 29, the U.S. Men’s National Team will return to MAPFRE Stadium, its spiritual home. The USMNT will face Guatemala for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match.
This will be the 11th USMNT match at MAPFRE Stadium. The Stars & Stripes have never lost in Columbus, holding a record of 7-0-3 at MAPFRE Stadium all-time. Those matches famously include four consecutive matches against Mexico, with the U.S. winning each of the four by a 2-0 “Dos a Cero” scoreline.
The match against Guatemala is set to be the first United States Men's National Team contest at MAPFRE Stadium since the most recent United States-Mexico FIFA World Cup qualifier, held on September 10, 2013.
Following USA vs. Guatemala, Crew SC will be back at MAPFRE Stadium for a packed home schedule with seven matches in 10 weeks.
And don’t forget about Rock on the Range. America’s largest Rock Festival returns to MAPFRE Stadium for its 10th anniversary from May 20 to 22. In 2015, the festival hosted its largest-ever crowd, selling out MAPFRE Stadium on all three days with 120,000 concert-goers in attendance. Visit MAPFREStadium.com for Rock on the Range tickets and line-up information.
All of these events mean the Crew SC Grounds Crew will be busy this year, keeping the MAPFRE Stadium pitch in pristine condition. Director of Grounds Weston Appelfeller and his crew know a thing or two about that. They won the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) Field of the Year Award in 2015. It was the third time in six years MAPFRE Stadium won the award.
Everything is set for another great year at MAPFRE Stadium. We’ll see you there on Saturday, March 12!