Federico Higuain
USA Today Sports

Crew announces "Black & Gold Week" ahead of March 16 Opening Match

COLUMBUS – With the Crew set to host its Opening Match at Crew Stadium in just eight days, the club has announced an events schedule surrounding its annual Black & Gold Week leading up to the March 16 tilt at Crew Stadium against San Jose (5:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio).
Black & Gold Week includes fan activities and celebrations, interaction with Crew management, the club’s annual Media Day and opportunities to save on Crew gear. Through it all, fans will also have six days of opportunities to win tickets to see the Crew face the 2012 Supporters’ Shield winners, the San Jose Earthquakes.
Black & Gold Week begins on Saturday, March 9, with a Crew viewing party at BBR (106 Vine St., Columbus), beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET as Columbus kicks-off its road fixture at Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Crew fans can enjoy Budweiser specials and special Crew mugs while also winning Crew and Budweiser prizes throughout the night.
The next night Crew Brand Ambassador and club legend Frankie Hejduk joins the sports crew of WBNS 10TV on Wall-to-Wall sports, previewing the club’s home opener. The show will run on Sunday, March 10 at 11:35 p.m. ET on WBNS.
On Monday, March 11, Black & Gold Week continues as FOX 28 Columbus features Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum for a special “Cooking with the Crew” segment at 9:45 a.m. ET. Viewers will have a chance to win four Opening Match tickets. Later in the morning, at 11:00 a.m., Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers is participating in a live chat with fans on TheCrew.com, providing supporters unique access and insight on the team and a forum to ask pertinent club questions.
Also beginning on Monday – and continuing each day through Friday – Frankie Hejduk will be venturing around locations throughout Columbus. After checking for clues on the Crew’s Twitter feed (@ColumbusCrew), if fans can “Find Frankie” at the day’s hotspot, they’ll win tickets to Opening Match and a Crew “Massive” scarf.

Tuesday’s events are highlighted by the Crew’s dedication to the community and its supporters. This year’s “Massive Makeover” transformed an exercise room at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. A special ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring the Crew’s Chad Marshall, Andy Gruenebaum, Ben Speas and Ryan Finley will be held at 2:30 p.m. on-site (711 E. Livingston Avenue, Columbus). Later in the evening, the club will host its Supporters’ Summit at 6:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium. This Nordecke-focused discussion with President and General Manager Mark McCullers, Head Coach Robert Warzycha and Technical Director Brian Bliss addresses topics on and off the field and is open to Nordecke season ticket holders and active supporters’ group members.
FOX 28 returns to Crew Stadium on Wednesday, with host Dana Turtle doing live hits at 7:50 a.m., 8:20 a.m., 8:50 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. that will give fans even more chances to win Opening Match tickets.
Following this televised coverage, the Crew will host its annual Media Day on Wednesday, March 13. Accredited members of the media will be able to claim their 2013 season credentials and will have full access to the Crew’s training session on the stadium field beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET. Following training, an opening press conference will be held in Crew Stadium’s Upper 90 Club, with President and General Manager Mark McCullers, Technical Director Brian Bliss, Head Coach Robert Warzycha and select players. Player interviews with members of the 2013 roster will also be conducted at the conclusion of training on the stadium field. Members of the media wishing to attend Media Day and claim their 2013 season credentials should RSVP to a member of the Crew’s Communications Department by close of business on Monday, March 11.
Fans that enjoyed the March 9 viewing party can head back to BBR for a Crew Black & Gold Week Happy Hour on Thursday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. ET. In order to properly kick the weekend off on Friday, the Crew Supporters’ Union will host the annual Crewsmas Eve Celebration at 7:00 p.m. ET at 4th Street Patio Bar and Grill (1810 N 4th St, Columbus).
The best way to make sure Crew fans are geared-up for the next day’s Opening Match is to take advantage of the Crew Gear Store Massive Sale, which will be held on Friday, March 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET at Crew Stadium. The sale includes up to 40% off on select jerseys, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, ladies and kids merchandise throughout the store.  All of the newest gear selections that just arrived will be available. Those that buy a 2013 Crew jersey can receive personalization for $15 (regularly $25) and all personalization orders placed before 4:00 p.m. ET will be ready that day. Orders placed after 4:00 p.m. ET on the day of the Massive Sale can be picked-up at the Crew’s opening match on Saturday, March 16 or during the store’s regular business hours, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET.
Black and Gold Week concludes with an action-packed game day. Frankie Hejduk will be featured in an 8:40 a.m. ET segment on NBC 4 offering a final chance to score Opening Match tickets. No matter how fans get their tickets – at the box office, by calling 614-447-CREW or online via TheCrew.com and Ticketmaster.com. – Crew Stadium will be ready for their arrival on Saturday, March 16.
The first 10,000 fans through the gates at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday will receive a Crew 2013 magnet schedule presented by Papa John’s. Then at 4:30 p.m. ET, a special celebrity scarfing of the Lamar Hunt statue will take place on the plaza. In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, green beer will be sold at select stands throughout the stadium and the Upper 90 Club will host a post-match party with “reverse happy hour” special pricing on beer, wine and liquors.
For more information on Black & Gold Week, visit TheCrew.com/March16.

The Crew opened the 2013 season with a 3-0 win at Chivas USA on March 2 and remains on the road this week through Saturday, March 9 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7:30 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio).


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