Scott Woods: Who does the new Crew stadium serve?
For the last year or so the impending new Columbus Crew soccer stadium has been a convenient bit of political shorthand. Whenever one wanted to criticize the city in the main, they could just point to the $50 million that was pledged toward said stadium, and then point at almost any other under- or non-addressed problem elsewhere and say, “This city is broken if this is their priority.”
An interesting charge, broken. A charge like that implies that the city is acting outside of its design or values, or that it has a clear direction and has somehow strayed from the path. In light of the recent Dispatch article that’s making the rounds — in which it was revealed that financial support for stadium development will far exceed the initially promised $50 million, and the many jaw-dropping ways in which city officials have tried to make it look like that isn’t the case — I must admit to struggling with the notion of a broken system. While some of the actions and communications between affected parties in the article expose gross negligence, political chicanery and a Jacob’s Ladder of deals that further burden taxpayers, none of this is against grain. All of this is wholly within the brand of Columbus politics.
None of this is illegal. It is merely unethical.