How to Find Parking in the Arena District for Columbus Crew and Blue Jackets Games

To avoid a parking crunch on Sept. 29, team officials are urging fans to prepay for spots before driving Downtown

Dave Ghose
Columbus Monthly
The downtown Columbus Crew stadium under construction on Thursday, June 17, 2021.

When Columbus Blue Jackets officials looked ahead at the 2021–22 season, a date jumped out at them: Sept. 29. On that day, the team’s neighborhood, the Arena District, will face an unprecedented parking triple whammy: simultaneous home games hosted by the three resident pro sports teams. “We went, ‘Ope, here we go. This will be a busy night,’” says Todd Sharrock, vice president of communications and team services for the Blue Jackets.

On July 3, the Arena District welcomed to the neighborhood Lower.com Field, the new home of the Columbus Crew. The soccer stadium has added more vitality to the district—already the home of two other pro teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets (Nationwide Arena) and the Columbus Clippers (Huntington Park)—but it also has put more pressure on the neighborhood’s surface lots and garages.

The Crew and Clippers have hosted home games on the same day three times this year. No major issues were reported during those convergences, other than at least one parking lot jacking up prices from $5 to $25. But what will happen when a third pro sports team is added to the mix?

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To avoid a parking crunch on Sept. 29, team officials are urging fans to prepay for spots before driving Downtown, which they can do online.

Fans also should plan on arriving earlier than usual and consider alternative modes of transportation, such as COTA, ride-shares and even bicycling. (A new pedestrian bridge connects the Olentangy Trail to the neighborhood.) “People need to think a little bit ahead and [not] just drive down and think they’re going to find a real close parking spot,” says Columbus Clippers GM Ken Schnacke.

This story is from the October 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly