Black & Gold supporters … we’re getting closer. The MLS regular season starts in a few weeks and we’re less than a month away from a very Merry Crewsmas home opener.
That means it’s time to unveil the 2023 Theme Night Calendar, packed with a few classics, some new events and 17 must-see games at Lower.com Field. Mark your calendars now!
March 4 – D.C. United
Crewsmas is coming, so load that YouTube burning log video and leave milk and cookies out for Frankie Claus. Crewsmas is a supporter-driven tradition to celebrate the first home match of the season, and the first 10,000 fans will receive a winter beanie, courtesy of Nationwide.
This is the first chance to see head coach Wilfried Nancy leading the Crew at home, so it’ll be crucial to make a good impression. Plus, make sure you get to Lower.com Field early and celebrate the season with Crewsmas carolers, live music, a 360 photobooth, and plenty of other pre-match festivities. Food and beverage discounts will be announced soon.
Battle at the Death Star
March 25 – Atlanta United FC
You’ll see plenty of stars at the intergalactic-themed Battle at the Death Star match, and by stars we mean Lucas Zelarayán, Cucho Hernández as well as some of your favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars theme costumes are encouraged, as are Chewbacca sound efforts when Atlanta is in possession. (Please do not bring lightsabers and make sure you check the stadium rules before coming to the stadium, so you don’t end up frozen in carbonite.)
Youth Soccer Night
April 1 – Real Salt Lake
Youth Soccer Night means all adult fans are required to tell everyone around them about their youth soccer accomplishments. April Fools!
Kids are encouraged to rep their youth soccer jerseys for a chance to be featured on the video board and take part in the Parade through the Pitch – and that’s not joke!
In all seriousness, Central Ohio is a hotbed for soccer talent, so come see the Crew clash with Real Salt Lake, another club with a proven track record of impressive Homegrown signings. Plus, this is RSL’s first visit to Columbus since 2018, and these clubs generally produce high-scoring matchups.
Back to the 90s Night
April 15 – New England Revolution
On this Saturday night, kids are encouraged to raid their parents’ closets and reminisce about the good old days of Starter Jackets, the Golden Age of Hip Hop, big hair and the Backstreet Boys. Like the mall, Lower.com Field will be the place to be.
In addition to the Crew playing an MLS original, there will also be a roller rink on the plaza to skate around before kickoff. Make sure you get to the game early, and don’t forget to leave the TV on while the VCR tapes the game. (That is not possible with AppleTV, but we can pretend anyway.)
Military Appreciation Night presented by AEP
April 29 – Inter Miami CF
The team’s annual Military Appreciation Night will be a matchup with Miami, as the Crew salutes our veterans and those currently serving our nation. The club will share more information surrounding the evening at a later date.
On Our Sleeves Day presented by Nationwide Children’s Hospital
May 13 – Orlando City SC
Some games mean more than others.
Against Orlando, the Crew, in partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will celebrate On Our Sleeves Day and the On Our Sleeves movement, which is the official children’s mental health cause of the club.
In 2022, supporters helped accomplish a Guinness World Record for the Longest Chain of Sports Fan Scarves through the Wrap Them In Support campaign. Let’s see what we can accomplish together in 2023 to support mental health for children.
Party By The Pitch, Pt. I
May 17 – LA Galaxy
The Galaxy returns to Columbus for the first time in four years, as we’re all treated to a Cucho vs. Chicharito contest.
Before the game, however, fans are encouraged to get to Lower.com Field early for post-work happy hour specials. Business casual clothing is allowed, although we recommend coming up with excuses now so you can get off work early.
Party By The Pitch, Pt. II
May 31 – Colorado Rapids
Close out the last day of May with your fellow Crew supporters with another round of post-work happy hour specials before the first whistle. Just like Pt. I, another Western Conference club will be swinging by, and the Black & Gold will need your help before the summer starts heating up.
Champion Columbus Night
June 3 – Charlotte FC
This night is all about hyping up the Ohio capital, as we’ll celebrate all the things that make Columbus great. Imagine if you could combine Short North, the Scioto Mile and German Village all into one soccer game? Well, it would look like June 3 at Lower.com Field.
Soccer For All
June 24 – Nashville SC
Started in 2018 through MLS WORKS, the league’s social responsibility platform, Soccer For All is a reminder that everyone is welcome to enjoy soccer, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.
This Saturday, the Crew will celebrate Juneteenth and Pride Month, as there will be various elements throughout the stadium to promote equity and inclusivity.
Fireworks Night, presented by Lower.com
July 1 – New York Red Bulls
Kick off Independence Day weekend with the Crew as it takes on a historical rival, the Red Bulls. The match also celebrates the second anniversary of Lower.com Field, as the Black & Gold moved into the soccer cathedral in July 2021.
While there are typically plenty of fireworks in these matches, actual ones will shoot off into the sky after the game.
Columbus Crew vs. NYCFC, presented by OhioHealth
July 8 – New York City FC
Last time the Pigeons came to town, Lucas and Cuchopropelled the Crew to a thrilling 3-2 win. More information on the match theme will be available at a later date, but this match is sure to be exhilarating and filled with goals.
Hell is Real Derby, presented by Tipico
Aug. 20 – FC Cincinnati
Lest we forget that the Columbus Crew is unbeaten against FC Cincinnati in the Ohio capital.
The two-time MLS Cup champions and three-time Supporters’ Shield winners welcome the, uh, three-time Wooden Spoon holders back to Columbus for what should be a fiery evening between the Black & Gold and the Orange and Blue. The loser has to drive home past the sign…get it?
College Night, presented by FC Bank
Aug. 26 – Toronto FC
The rivalries don’t stop with facing Cincinnati. The following Saturday, the Crew faces its northern rival in the Trillium Cup, as Toronto comes to town for College Night. Fans are encouraged to rep their schools while cheering on the Crew.
Hispanic Heritage Night
Sept. 20 – Chicago Fire FC
Central Ohio is home to a vibrant Hispanic community, which is also represented by the club’s star players. On Sept. 20, join us as we celebrate all things Hispanic culture against our long-time rivals, Chicago.
Plus, not to jinx anything, but the Crew is unbeaten at home against Chicago since 2013.
Superhero Night, presented by Vertiv
Sept. 30 – Philadelphia Union
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Crew, who is celebrating Superhero Night. The gold shirts will be especially moving, as the club celebrates Kick Childhood Cancer in honor of pediatric cancer patients and survivors.
Fan Appreciation Day, presented by EASE Logistics
Oct. 21 – CF Montréal
While there’s plenty to be excited about Nancy hosting his former club, we’ve got more important things to worry about. Fan Appreciation Day is all about celebrating you, the supporters, and hopefully the Crew’s last home match before the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Fan Appreciation Day coincides with Decision Day, the last match of the 2023 regular season. Thirty-four games and the team’s postseason dreams may come down to this Saturday night heavyweight tilt.
Don’t forget, securing a Season Ticket Membership ensures you’ll have a seat to all 17 theme nights, in addition to several benefits, such as a subscription to Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass, exclusive, member-only events, a discount at the Crew Shop, pre-sale access, discounted parking and more.
Bring your crew
Secure your seat to cheer on the reigning MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field this season!