COLUMBUS – Leading into Hell is Real Week, the Columbus Crew are building anticipation and excitement with Black & Gold supporters and throughout Columbus for the sold-out rivalry matchup against FC Cincinnati on Sunday, Aug. 20 [7:30 p.m. ET / MLS Season Pass on Apple TV]. More details about week-long activations will be shared in the coming days.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, the Club will host its inaugural Hell is Real Pig Roast prior to Crew 2’s “Heck is Plausible” derby against FC Cincinnati 2 at Historic Crew Stadium [6 p.m. ET, / MLS Season Pass on Apple TV]. Crew 2 General Manager Corey Wray and select First Team players who helped the team claim the first MLS NEXT Pro Cup are expected to participate in the pre-match ceremonies. To elevate the matchday experience, the Crew are offering free entry to the game for fans, who can enjoy the Pig Roast with a $15 ticket that includes a pulled pork sandwich, two sides, water and entertainment.
The Hell is Real Pig Roast is a nod to the Kentucky-bordering city’s “Porkopolis” moniker born from its position in the pork and meat-packing industry during the 19th century, as well as its population’s current fascination with flying pigs (which for clarity, do not exist). Cap City will celebrate its Club and supporters during the event while looking to cap the weekend with two home victories.
Additionally, the Crew in partnership with Tipico Sportsbook on Friday installed a replica Hell is Real sign (12’ x 9’) at Battelle Plaza, which also features information on next Sunday’s match. Fans are encouraged to post photos with the sign on social media and include #Crew96 for the chance to win Crew prizes, including a signed jersey.
““We couldn’t think of a better way to prepare for our Hell is Real Derby than with our fans and supporters over a good old fashioned pig roast,” said President of Business Operations Kristin Bernert. “A special part of the in-state rivalry is that Hell is Real and Heck is Plausible were inspired by our supporters, and we don’t mind dialing the rivalry up a notch.”
“The Crew 2 supporters group has been remarkable since the start of our MLS NEXT Pro championship run last year, and we hope even more fans can join us at Historic Crew Stadium with free tickets available to Heck is Plausible on Saturday,” said Wray. “Through the Club’s investment in the player pathway, we have seen multiple Crew 2 players contribute to the First Team this year. Our matches offer high-quality competition in an incredibly family-friendly environment, and Crew fans can learn more about players who will ultimately help us with our goal to win future MLS Cups.”
The Crew own a 5-2-4 record against FC Cincinnati in MLS competition. When Crew 2 hosted FC Cincinnati 2 last season, the Capybaras claimed a 9-0 win.
In addition to Battelle Plaza, the Crew have procured Hell is Real promotional signage on the digital board located at the corner of High and State Streets, as well as multiple static boards in the region. In total, there will be 30 billboards in place across Central Ohio during the week ahead of the derby. When visiting Battelle Plaza, Black & Gold supporters can also pick up their own Hell is Real yard signs – first distributed to Season Ticket Members at the Club’s Meet the Team event in July – while supplies last.
Including next Sunday’s Hell is Real Derby, presented by Tipico Sportsbook, the Black & Gold have sold out 10 consecutive regular season home matches and 11 overall at Lower.com Field in 2023, plus their Leagues Cup group stage game against Club América. Both the sellout streak and total number of capacity crowds are all-time franchise records.
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