The Columbus Crew will be Painting the Town Black & Gold over the course of the next week in the form of a series of fan-oriented, public events leading up to First Kick 2011, the club’s home opener vs. New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 26, at Crew Stadium.
Paint the Town Black & Gold Week kicks off this Saturday, March 19, with the first stop on the new Pub Watch Party Tour presented by Budweiser at 4th Street Bar & Grill (1810 N. 4th Street), where fans can enjoy the broadcast of the regular-season opener at D.C. United on ONN with from members of the Crewzers Professional Dance Team, drink specials and prizes.
On Tuesday, March 22, Crew TV analyst Duncan Oughton and Crew Cat will pay a visit the Columbus Performance Academy to engage in interactive physical activities with the students, and demonstrate the role soccer can play in promoting health and wellness. The Columbus Performance Academy strives to educate students and parents about the dangers of childhood obesity by using soccer, tennis and martial arts as vehicles to encourage physical fitness and health.
A selection of Crew players, coaches and Crew Juniors will then kick off the season in dramatic style on Friday, March 25, by holding a match on the Statehouse lawn. The event will take place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. and fans are invited to come and meet some the new players on the team as well as see some familiar faces.
One of the club’s popular Fan Forums will take place on Thursday, March 24, at 6 p.m., in the Upper 90 Club at Crew Stadium. It features a panel scheduled to be up of Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers, head coach Robert Warzycha and Crew players Rich Balchan, Jeff Cunningham and William Hesmer (panelists subject to change). McCullers will kick off the interactive discussion with a brief outline of the club’s current priorities and state of affairs, after which the entire panel will be available for questions. The event is open the first 100 people who register here: https://www.thecrew.com/form/fan-forum-rsvp.
On Friday, March 25, Crew Investor-Operator Clark Hunt will give the keynote address at an EO/WPO Columbus seminar entitled “The Business of Running a Professional Sports Franchise and Its Impact in Our Community” seminar. Mr. Hunt will discuss his family’s notable experience in the business of professional sports. Following Hunt’s keynote address, he will be joined in a panel discussion focusing the impact of our professional sports teams and the role they play in central Ohio’s future by Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers, Blue Jackets President Mike Priest, and Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer. The event runs 4 to 6 p.m. at the Hyatt on Capitol Square (75 East State Street).
Finally, on game day, Saturday, March 26, Crew executives, Crew Cat and members of the front office will lend their support and elbow grease to a neighborhood cleanup from 9 to 11 a.m. Investor-Operator Clark Hunt, President & General Manager Mark McCullers and the rest of the Crew contingent will join Mayor Michael B. Coleman and Keep Columbus Beautiful in a litter removal effort with residents of South Linden. The clean-up will take place in areas adjacent to Hamilton Avenue (the starting point will be the Hamilton Stem Academy at 2047 Hamilton Avenue). Following welcome remarks by Mayor Coleman, Clark Hunt and Mark McCullers at Hamilton Stem Academy, volunteers will be transported to and from cleanup sites.
PAINT THE TOWN BLACK & GOLD WEEK Schedule of Events
Day Time Event Location
Sat., March 19 7:30 p.m. FirstKick Viewing Party 4th Street Patio Bar & Grill
Tues., March 22 2 p.m. CPA School Visit Columbus Performance Academy
Thur., March 24 6 p.m. Fan Forum Upper 90 Club (Crew Stadium)
Fri., March 25 1:30 p.m. Statehouse Season Kickoff Ohio Statehouse-West Plaza (Lawn)
Fri., March 25 4 p.m. EO/WPO seminar Hyatt Capitol Square
Sat., March 26 9 a.m. Keep Columbus Beautiful Hamilton Stem Academy