The Columbus Crew are here to cure your pandemic doldrums with fresh bonkers vaportecture

I know that it’s rough out there, with the economy in freefall, and much of the U.S. still seeing rising Covid case numbers even as governors (and judges) tell businesses they can reopen, and Netflix starting to run out of TV shows to keep us distracted. So I could not be more pleased to report that the Columbus Crew have got our backs with some brand-new vaportecture renderings of what their new stadium will (probably, maybe, almost assuredly not) look like when it opens next year, if there is a next year:

This shot is weirdly underlit, so it’s hard to tell exactly what all these late-arriving fans are carrying into the arena: U.S. flags? Liberian flags? There does appear to be at least one yellow-and-black striped Crew flag for sale that bears a passing resemblance to the American flag, but it doesn’t appear to be the most popular design, so maybe the renderers thought they could get away with some U.S. flag clip art and no one would notice if the scene was dark enough? Also, what’s up with the giant soccer ball hovering over the people on the sidewalk? If that’s a balloon, they’re not going to be allowed to bring it into the stadium and obstruct their fellow fans’ views, are they?

Moving on:

Just a bunch of soccer fans suspended midair along a drink rail while outside a spatially distorted pedicab cuts across traffic to prepare to mow down unsuspecting pedestrians, nothing to see here!

We’re all used to seeing all kinds of things added to the air above stadium renderings — fireworks, mostly — but this is the first time I can recall seeing a flock of birds. Do we think someone actually put those in to enhance the attractiveness of the image, or did they just find “flock of birds” in some pulldown menu and figured they might as well use it somewhere, if only to justify claiming the clip art expansion pack as a business expense?

This is a normal enough soccer scene — players contesting a ball, smoke bombs going off in the supporters’ section — unless you actually pay attention to the soccer. Number 6, mark your man! Somebody on the navy blue team, get open for a cross! And where’s the keeper? Was he so confused by the fact that the touchline wasn’t laid out at a 90-degree angle that he couldn’t figure out where to stand? Was he mowed down by a rogue pedicab? So many questions.

Now there’s some fireworks! Plus people pointing randomly at the sky and holding up scarves, because you know that’s what vaporfans love to do.

Feel better now? I sure do! MLS may be busy with wacky schemes to put up all 26 teams in Orlando for a summer tournament, but vaporsoccer is alive and well and, if those ecstatic fans are any indication, way more entertaining.


13 comments on “The Columbus Crew are here to cure your pandemic doldrums with fresh bonkers vaportecture

  1. Thanks for the vaportecture hit…I was going into withdrawl.

    I expected to see some blatant ripoff of black/yellow bedecked Borussia Dortmund FC fans in the stands in this vaportecture. Some similar looking flags, but nothing egregious that I could see.

  2. MLS has banned smoke bombs, and permanently banned some for pyrotechnics.

    That is except for team employee cheerleaders in font of officially designated supporter sections. Which if its anything like here mainly consists of dentists-who-ride-harleys kind tough guys.

    • They may have banned smoke bombs, but Columbus stadium usually provides their own.

      https://www.dispatch.com/article/20130427/SPORTS/304279733

  3. Re: third picture… judging from the speckled pattern on the reflective stadium roof, a million more birds are just out of frame, and the flock we can see is just the advance team. I see a large group of fans have fled the stadium and clustered on the sidewalk under protective cover of smoke bombs, strategically positioned between the mirrored roof and the tactical procession of all-white cars, since birds are easily confused by reflections.

    • I wondered if that was a bird infestation on the roof, but the same speckled pattern appears in the image just above that one, so I concluded it was just a (terrible) design choice. Though, maybe something about the stadium causes flocks of birds to spontaneously crash fatally into it like airborne lemmings? Or maybe the roof is ornamented with actual dead birds, and the flock in image #3 is hellbent on revenge? So many exciting possibilities!

  4. Will Covid-19 lead to the end of singing/chanting in the supporters section throughout the entire game? Where are the plexiglass spit/spray shields between each row?

  5. Those birds have nothing on the birds (seagulls?) who use to land on the field at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco while the 49ers were playing.

  6. Tom,
    I think the last NASL game (latest edition of the NASL) was the final/championship match at Kezar Stadium between the San Francisco Deltas and NY Cosmos a couple/few years ago. I remember watching that game on TV and seeing a squabble of sea gulls relaxing on the unused parts of the field during play until disrupted by soccer action.

  7. Speckles/marks on stadium roof are definitely copious amounts of bird poop.

    My guess is the birds are European Starlings:
    https://ohiohistorycentral.org/w/European_Starling

    Columbus Crew are probably putting birds in images as fair warning to fans to expect a lot of bird mess. Great idea for MLS to avoid liability in dry cleaning bills from fans.

    Sadly, some of the fans in the images are unaware of the Hitchcock-like nightmare descending on them.

  8. Call me a pansy, but these renderings of cheering fans on top of one another are disturbing. They also feel out of date. Why create renderings based on a world that’s extinct?

  9. It seems the highlight of all the recent MLS renderings, and MLS’s core USP, is “walking up steps to the stadium”.

    I think the birds are there for the sense of foreboding: vaporhell is real, is the subliminal message.

    Thanks for keeping at it Neil in these times of heroically resistant venality. It can’t be very gratifying to trawl through it all.

    • The trawl isn’t fun, but the occasional “laugh to keep from crying” moments make it all worthwhile for me, and I hope for you guys.

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