There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get into it.
The Columbus Foundation has released a plan for a soccer specific stadium that would be installed in a location they are calling “Spirit Park”. It would be near CCAD and Columbus State, and you can see what it would look like here:
The hurdles to this would be many. Moving parts would include the state, the city, the county, Brewdog, CDDC, and of course, Anthony Precourt.
- Franklin county would allocate 1/2 of the quarter cent sales tax currently set to expire January, 2019 for a period of three years.
- City of Columbus would have to fund parking structures and site improvements. In Cincinnati, the price tag for this kind of site improvement around an MLS stadium has looked to be in the $75 million range. Whether that is a grifting the public price (meaning it could be done cheaper here), or a real price for what it would cost is an unknown.
- Precourt Sports would fund whatever is not funded by the 1/8 of a penny sales tax that would be collected in that three year period. This would be a better deal than Precourt is claiming to be seeking, since he has said clearly, and specifically that he is not seeking public funding.
- BrewDog would lead a crowdfunding campaign to buy at least 10% of the team, giving Precourt liquidity at a much higher valuation than where he initially bought in as owner.
- This would be a shared funding model that would require no new taxes as presented.
There is more that would be done here than just a soccer stadium. Other benefits:
- A 350 seat Children’s Theatre would be built. This is going to get overlooked in the plan I think, but Doug Kridler is correct when he says there is a significant need in the community for a venue like this. I feel confident a Children’s Theatre would be supported and do well in Columbus.
- Columbus State would see campus enhancements and a showcase eatery for its new School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts.
Presumably, this stadium would be close enough to the Convention Center that the Arnold Classic could use the stadium for events as well.
I don’t know if this proposal has any juice or not. Here’s what I can say:
- It completely satisfies what Precourts “says” he is looking for.
- It does this without needing to raise new taxes.
- It would benefit two extremely under appreciated assets the city possesses in CCAD and Columbus State.
The full pdf of the plan with some addition details can be viewed here.