Photo from left to right: Mayor Andrew Ginther, Derrick R. Clay, President, City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Commission, Bernita Reese, Director, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, Tim Bezbachenko, President and General Manager of the Columbus Crew.

Vice President of Shumaker Advisors and Columbus Parks Leader Celebrates Announcement of City’s New Community Sports Park

COLUMBUS, OH – It may be time to get a bigger set of cleats, because soccer is expanding its footprint in Columbus—leading to healthier kids, more active adults, and more fun for everyone, said Vice President of Shumaker Advisors and City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Commission President Derrick R. Clay.

Derrick celebrated the announcement of Columbus’s new Community Sports Park at Kilbourne Run in Northeast Columbus. Upgrading the 69-acre park with state-of-the-art soccer facilities will create new opportunities for kids and adults to get active, elevate Central Ohio as a destination for soccer tournaments, and secure the long-term future of the Columbus Crew (Crew) and Major League Soccer in the city.

“Thanks to the Crew, Columbus has a tradition of winning in soccer, and the plan we’ve put together here is a win-win-win. A win for the future of the Crew in our city; a win for taxpayers, whose investment will deliver a world-class facility for our community; and—most importantly—a win for the people of Columbus, who can now look forward to a long future of staying healthy and having fun through a sport we love,” Derrick said.

Through its board, hundreds of staff members, and thousands of volunteers, the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Commission oversees more than 400 parks, preserves, and recreational facilities.

“When I started playing for the Crew in 2003, all I wanted was to see the game of soccer grow in Columbus,” said Columbus Crew Manager of Team Strategic Partnerships and former Crew player, former national team player, and former Olympian Frankie Hejduk. “Seeing this project come to fruition is a dream come true, giving kids the opportunity to be active and learn the game in a top-of-the-line facility. Since the Crew came to Columbus in 1994, it’s amazing to see how far soccer has progressed and how the city and citizens have embraced the game.”

Last week, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther announced the location of the Community Sports Park, which is a key part of the city’s commitment to keep the Crew in Columbus. The park is one of several projects planned to expand and improve recreational options across Columbus. Learn more about the Community Sports Park, including artist’s renderings, at the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Commission website.