[Columbus Crew owner Clark] Hunt said 11-year-old Crew Stadium, which his father funded and built, remains “a fantastic venue to watch a soccer game.” But the team must look at its long-term facility needs, he said, including a new stadium.
McCullers also said the Crew is closely watching the Columbus Blue Jackets’ effort to improve its lease at Nationwide Arena through a possible public purchase of the privately owned venue. One of the financing scenarios under discussion is tapping tax revenue from the new Columbus casino to fund an arena buyout by Franklin County and the city.
“My message to those that have an ongoing interest in that,” McCullers said, “is we shouldn’t just fix the Blue Jackets’ situation but fix the professional sports infrastructure situation in Columbus. That includes us.”
Two lessons here: One, the only thing stopping team owners from demanding new stadiums every year, as economist Rod Fort once suggested, is the limits of their chutzpah. And two, when considering a bailout to one of your city’s sports teams, you really need to watch out for that camel’s nose.