Columbus Crew SC to play Thursday's match at MAPFRE Stadium without fans in attendance

Following the announcement of Columbus Crew SC’s upcoming schedule of matches, the Club announced today that fans will not be permitted to attend the Crew’s first “Return to Play” match, against the Chicago Fire on Thursday, August 20. Additionally, the parking lots at MAPFRE Stadium will be closed to supporters for this match. The Club will make an announcement at a later date when it knows more regarding its potential ability to allow supporters at future Crew home matches in Phase 1, including against the Philadelphia Union (September 2) and FC Cincinnati (September 6).

“We have spent significant time, energy and resources on the development of a robust return to stadium plan that prioritizes the health and well-being of our players, fans and community. However, given the current state of the pandemic, we will not be hosting fans at our match this Thursday night,” said Crew SC President and General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “We will certainly miss having our supporters cheer us on from the stands in our first game back in Columbus. As we move forward, we will continue to prioritize their health and safety while we navigate the challenges of the current pandemic. As things develop, we will continue to work with MLS as well as our local government and health authorities to determine whether we will be able to host fans at MAPFRE Stadium at some point during the season.”


Crew SC has collaborated with government health officials, medical experts, industry leaders and MLS and worked hard to develop a comprehensive venue reopening plan for MAPFRE Stadium. The Crew remains ready to host a limited number of fans with health and safety as our highest priority if and when the necessary approvals are secured. Crew SC recognizes that circumstances are fluid and as such, the Club has designed its plans to maximize flexibility and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Crew SC looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the State of Ohio and local public health officials in Columbus on its venue reopening plans. In the meantime, the Club will follow the guidance of MLS and execute robust safety and sanitization protocols for players and staff at MAPFRE Stadium as it does its part to ensure a safe continuation of the 2020 MLS season.

Crew SC’s re-opening preparedness at MAPFRE Stadium is guided by seven key principles: 1) physical separation, which includes a reduced capacity and specific circulation plan to maximize six feet physical distancing inside the stadium; 2) face coverings, which are required for everyone in the stadium; 3) health screenings, which include daily temperature screenings and symptom monitoring for all staff, as well as a fan health promise; 4) robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout the venue; 5) comprehensive hygiene protocols for all supporters and staff; 6) clear signage and communication, including wayfinding, posted education and protocol materials that will be posted for fans and staff; and 7) accountability and flexibility in the form of robust plan governance, compliance and audit protocols along with continuous review and adjustment to evolving circumstances.

In light of MLS’s recent release of the revised “2020 Return to Play” schedule [Updated Crew Schedule] and because any future 2020 matches played in front of fans at MAPFRE Stadium will be at reduced capacity, all tickets to future 2020 matches will be issued as new tickets. With respect to any future 2020 Crew SC home matches that are played with fans, Crew SC will offer Season Ticket Members the opportunity to purchase tickets in waves based on tenure. Supporters with questions may contact the Membership Services Team (614-447-2739, ext. 1 or or visit for updated information.

All six Crew SC matches in Phase One are set to be televised locally on FOX Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio. Similarly, the Black & Gold’s first five matches will be aired locally on the radio in English on 97.1 The Fan and streaming online via “Listen Live” at, featuring Chris Doran broadcasting the contests. The club’s official website,, is set to stream Spanish-language audio broadcasts of all six matches with Juan Valladares behind the microphone. Radio broadcast information for Crew SC’s road contest against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, September 12, will be announced at a later date.

For a schedule of Crew SC’s upcoming 2020 MLS regular-season matches in Phase One, please see below:





Thursday, August 20


FOX Sports Ohio

7:30 p.m.

Monday, August 24

@ New York City FC

FOX Sports Ohio

7:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 29

@ FC Cincinnati

SportsTime Ohio

7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, September 2


FOX Sports Ohio

7:30 p.m.

Sunday, September 6


SportsTime Ohio

7:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 12

@ Chicago Fire

SportsTime Ohio

7:30 p.m.

INAUGURAL STADIUM KIT: Purchase an authentic Inaugural Stadium Kit online or pick it up in-person at the Historic Crew Stadium!