Columbus Crew is celebrating youth soccer throughout the month of April and is set to host Youth Soccer Night this weekend when the Crew takes on Orlando City SC at Lower.com Field on Saturday, April 16 [7:30 p.m. ET / Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports App (Stream) / 97.1 The Fan & 971thefan.com (English); ColumbusCrew.com (Spanish)]. Tickets for the match are available here.
Youth Soccer Night is part of the Crew’s commitment to championing youth soccer and helping the progression of the game across the state. Entering the 27th season in Club history, the Crew has been the driving force for the beautiful game in Ohio at all levels. The recent Winter Camp sold-out within 24 hours, prompting the addition of a second session. Both events sold-out with 100 participants each. Similarly, the Club is dedicated to providing resources to create strong relationships with soccer players and fans of all ages. The Club’s affiliate program – the Crew Network – was relaunched in summer of 2021 and has signed 11 local youth clubs to date.
On Saturday, youth soccer players attending the match wearing their respective youth team jersey will have the opportunity to take part in the free postgame Parade Through the Pitch, a unique experience that will allow young soccer players to walk on the world-class pitch at Lower.com Field. Young Crew fans wishing to take part in this opportunity can join the parade near the Crew Shop behind sections 120 and 121. The procession will start approximately 30 minutes after the final whistle.
The parade recognizing youth soccer players is representative of one of many on-field activations that are now available for the first time at Lower.com Field, providing a vehicle to create memorable experiences for fans of all ages.
The Crew will have several pre-match activities on the Community Plaza in celebration of Youth Soccer Night and Easter, including the Black & Gold Egg Hunt, which is free and open to all Crew fans in attendance ages 10 and under. Starting at 6 p.m. ET, the Egg Hunt will feature 1,000 eggs hidden throughout the designated area while supplies last. Participating children will have the opportunity to collect up to five eggs, and two grand prize golden tickets will be hidden inside the eggs for prizes including a Birthday Bash at Lower.com Field hosted by the Columbus Crew and Crew Cat, and a game-worn autographed Crew jersey.
All fans in attendance on Saturday are also invited to the Community Plaza beginning at 6 p.m. ET to take photos with Crew mascots Crew Cat and S.C.; enjoy soccer tennis and lawn games such as Giant Jenga, Connect 4, Cornhole and Soccer Pong; and try their luck at winning prizes through the Nationwide Kick & Win, the Tim Hortons Prize Wheel, and a “Guess to Win” game with two tickets to the Crew’s home match on April 30 on the line.
Families and individuals coming to the match this weekend are additionally reminded that the Arena District DORA is activated three hours before every Crew home match and extends to Nationwide Boulevard into Astor Park until midnight Eastern Time. The DORA provides additional downtown, matchday experience opportunities for Black & Gold supporters, with additional details available at arenadistrict.com/dora.
Columbus has long been colloquially considered the heart of soccer in the United States and the Crew are at the forefront of growing soccer’s presence in North America. Building off of a voracious appetite for soccer in Columbus, in less than a year since opening on July 3, 2021, the Crew’s home, located in Astor Park, has served as the site of the 2021 Campeones Cup, in addition to hosting both the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams for three matches, including two FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and an international friendly.
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