Columbus Among Nation's Best Sports Hosting Cities

By Kyle Rowland on July 9, 2014 at 8:30a
77 Comments

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Columbus, Ohio, was nothing more than an oversized cow town with little hint of evolving into a cosmopolitan American city. Well, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Ohio’s state capital is the 15th-largest city in the country, home to Fortune 500 companies, renowned hospitals, a world-class university, diverse population and burgeoning neighborhoods.

“Today we are surrounded by success,” Mayor Michael Coleman said during his 2014 State of the City address. “The Short North Arts District, the Arena District, the Hilton convention hotel, the North Market and a thriving downtown neighborhood with world-class parks, signature bridges, great restaurants, fun nightspots, convenient retail and thousands of new residents – Columbus has changed dramatically. We have transformed from a great American city to one of America’s greatest cities.”

So what does this mean for sports? A lot. In recent years, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission has increased its push in bringing major sporting events to the city, and its success rate is high.

“We definitely have seen a change in perception of Columbus,” Bruce Wimbish, the sports commission’s director of marketing and communications, told Eleven Warriors. “When we throw our hat in the ring, it gets people’s attention more. Pretty much anything we go after, we go in optimistic and confident that we will get it, if not the year we bid for then in future years.

“We close at about a seven out of 10 rate. It’s so important to get folks here to see the package we have, because it’s a winning package. We like to tell our story and flex our muscles.”

The NCAA men’s basketball tournament and golf’s prestigious President’s Cup are two high-profile events Central Ohio has played host to, and it’s just an opening act. Over the next two years, several U.S. and international events will call Columbus home.

The USA Fencing national championships just ended. In 2015, the NHL All-Star Game and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament come to Nationwide Arena. The U.S. Senior Open will be played at Scioto in 2016 and St. John Arena hosts the NCAA men’s gymnastics championships.

Columbus is bidding on the USA Gymnastics championships (2015 and 2016), U.S. Figure Skating annual meeting (2016), USA Fencing North America Cup (2016), USA Track and Field annual meeting (2017) and NCAA women’s Final Four (2018-2020).

A Super Bowl in Central Ohio will never happen and a Final Four is far-fetched, though the NCAA’s goal of returning to arenas offers hope. The women’s Final Four, which has become a mega event with sellout crowds, is No. 1 on Columbus’s wish list.

“The women’s Final Four is that 10,000-foot goal,” Wimbish said.

The city’s hosting prowess and fans’ positive attendance trend aren’t the only factors working in Columbus’s favor. It’s also become a powerhouse in TV ratings, a sponsor’s dream. Columbus was consistently ranked as a top-10 city for each of the U.S.’s four World Cup games. The same goes for the Super Bowl, Final Four and other major U.S. sporting events – and that’s going against New York, L.A., Chicago and Washington.

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote, “At times this stadium on the northeast coast of Brazil felt like Columbus, Ohio,” in describing the atmosphere at the U.S.’s win over Ghana in the World Cup. Crew Stadium has obtained legendary status relating to the U.S. soccer team, thanks to an unbeaten record. 

When outsiders travel to Columbus, there’s almost always an expectation that it will be Middle America to the core – farmland for miles, nothing to do, small city, etc. But once they land at Port Columbus or drive in via several major highways, the mindset changes dramatically.

Steve Ducoff, CEO of the Association of Chief Executives for Sport, is one of those converts. He called ACES’ annual meeting in June, which took place in Columbus, “enlightening.”

“The opportunity to see and hear firsthand from city leaders of the capabilities and observe the professionalism and organizational skills of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission were outstanding and very impressive to our group,” Ducoff said. “Many favorable comments concerning Columbus were mentioned in the post-conference critique sheets. Many of our members are very interested in hosting events in Columbus. Whatever previous impressions were, most were favorable [after] our visit.”

The Greater Columbus Sports Commission operates on a $1.8 million budget, a fraction of other big-time host cities, such as New Orleans and Indianapolis. But it’s managed wisely and the sports commission doesn’t bid on unrealistic events.   

Something that could provide an even bigger boost to Columbus is hosting the Democratic National Convention in 2016. Experience Columbus, the city’s marketing wing, said it would be “our Super Bowl.”

“That’s huge,” said Wimbish, adding it would be a defining moment for the city. “It would take Columbus to next level, where it has a national profile and visitors have an expectation before arriving.”

The compactness of downtown, making it pedestrian friendly, neighborhoods like the Short North, German Village, Arena District and Brewery District, which are packed with restaurants, and an abundance of hotel rooms has vaulted Columbus into the national consciousness.

Getting decision-makers to the city remains the top objective in the bidding process, because the sports commission has seen firsthand how much sway Columbus can have once people get on the ground.

“We see it with all the events we have. Sometimes we feel we’re at the forefront of seeing that change,” Wimbish said. “It creates a marketing platform for people. They see Columbus as this and that. We feel when people get here it’s more of an organic and grass roots marketing. It’s stuff you can’t pay for. It’s not a commercial, it’s not a radio spot, it moves a little slower. It’s more word of mouth, but it’s vitally important.”

Perhaps the city’s – and Dublin – most successful undertaking and execution was last fall’s President’s Cup at Muirfield Village. Players raved about it, spectators raved about it and the PGA Tour raved about it. The only negative was the weather.

The event attracted visitors from all over the U.S. – and the world. It brought $22 million in economic impact to Central Ohio and had an attendance of 150,000. The TV coverage also offered a window into Columbus and Dublin. NBC’s coverage was viewed by 800 million residences around the world and included nearly 100 hours of airtime.

“We’ve turned the corner in proving that we are experienced and have expertise in putting on large events. But we struggle with that national image,” Wimbish said. “The PGA said [the President’s Cup] was the best from an organizing standpoint. It re-defined the model as far as collaboration between regions.”

Ohio State and the Columbus Blue Jackets provide free marketing for Columbus from a sports standpoint and as a city. An NBA team in Columbus has long created passionate viewpoints. For now, though, the city will settle for Cavaliers exhibition games.

The Browns have stoked interest from all corners of the state by floating the idea of taking training camp on the road. A destination that makes sense is Columbus. It’s a Browns Backers hotbed and the central location is ideal. Wimbish said there are constant overtures, fact-finding and information shared between the Browns and the city of Columbus.

“We are always open to Browns events,” he said.

The monumental professional event that would draw national attention is a Blue Jackets game in Ohio Stadium. Right now, the focus is on the All-Star Game, but Wimbish coyly said, “The day after the All-Star game, who knows?”

For people, sports are an outlet, almost a fantasy world, where a combination of joy, heartbreak and living vicariously through others exists.

For cities, sports can be an engine to revitalization. Downtown Cleveland underwent a total renaissance when Jacobs Field and Gund Arena were constructed. Cincinnati, Baltimore and Toledo, to a lesser extent, have seen similar downtown revivals after sports venues were constructed.

The same has occurred in Columbus with Nationwide Arena, Huntington Park and the surrounding area.

“I think the urban entertainment district, Columbus has one of the best,” Wimbish said. “We’ve been benchmarked by other cities that are contemplating theirs with an arena as the anchor. It’s an equation that really works, and it really works for sports.

“We’re a city on the rise.”

77 Comments

Comments

Buckeye.383's picture

Great article....I miss my time in Columbus! Maybe one day I will live there again. The city is certainly transforming and growing every day. I was amazed by all of the construction, and other things, taking place the last time I visited. I'll be back this weekend for a wedding and can't wait!

Born, raised, educated, and will die a Buckeye ~ BuckeyeNation

+2 HS
BroJim's picture

I have not been to Columbus in years, sounds like it's the place to be. Ohio Forever!

I season my simple food with hunger

+2 HS
703Buckeye's picture

I love visiting Columbus! It's no longer the cow-town that so many outsiders think of; hopefully some of these high-profile events can continue to help shed that image, 

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+1 HS
DannyBeane's picture

Columbus just keeps getting better year after year. I imagine its the Portland/Austin/San Francisco of the Midwest, even though I've never been to those cities its the comparisons I keep hearing. I say bring the Olympics here. Show the world what C-bus is all about.

+2 HS
RedStorm45's picture

No, absolutely not.  In fact, the city turned down the recent opportunity to bid (2024?).  Cbus simply doesn't have the infrastructure for that big of an event.

+2 HS
Danify's picture

As an game designer, I would love for Columbus to offer multimedia businesses to the area (similar to Austin, Texas). Especially with Ohio State University and other surrounding colleges with plenty of young talent to fill those jobs and bring the latest (multimedia) technology to the city.

+6 HS
ShoeHolder's picture

I used to travel a lot more for work than I do now. I was a regular in Portland and Austin (not so much San Francisco). Austin a great city. The lifestyle there seems more "outdoorsy" than Columbus - mostly due to the geography. Everyone I met there was incredibly friendly. Portland, in my humble opinion, wasn't great. The only thing I could compare between Portland and Columbus were the restaunts like we have in the short north. Other than that the only thing I liked about Portland was that it was always my stop before Seattle. 

"Hippies. They're everywhere. They wanna save the Earth, but all they do is smoke pot and smell bad."

Baroclinicity's picture

I hated Columbus back in the mid 90s when I was in school.  It has done very well since then, and we look forward to our time there.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Tater_Schroeder's picture

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote, “At times this stadium on the northeast coast of Brazil felt like Columbus, Ohio,” in describing the atmosphere at the U.S.’s win over Ghana in the World Cup. Crew Stadium has obtained legendary status relating to the U.S. soccer team, thanks to an unbeaten record. 

This is exactly what I had in mind as I clicked on this link. Columbus was awarded the first MLS team by building America's first soccer-specific stadium. It's highly regarded as one of America's most passionate soccer cities. 

With that said, Columbus is always in the discussion to be a game site for USA bids to host the World Cup... not in Crew Stadium, but in the Horseshoe! Imagine hosting the USMNT during a World Cup match at Ohio Stadium... now that I would pay a lot of money to be a part of! What a boost to the city that would be!

How Firm Thy Friendship

+5 HS
DannyBeane's picture

I'm not a fan of Soccer but even I would pay to see that just for the atmosphere. Columbus would be going nuts and the Shoe definitely has the capacity to handle the volume.

+3 HS
RedStorm45's picture

Will never happen in the Shoe.  The Crew played there for a bit before their stadium was built, but this was before the 2000-2001 expansion, and even then the field was smaller than regulation size.  Field simply isn't big enough.

+3 HS
Baroclinicity's picture

I never knew that.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

The more you know...

+1 HS
Byaaaahhh's picture

Aw.. but think how sick that would be. 

Tater_Schroeder's picture

Good point RedStorm. Looking at the field below, it's length would be fine to accommodate a soccer field by including the endzones for the full 120 yards. However, Stretching the width from 53 1/3 yards below to a FIFA minimum of 70 yards wouldn't be possible with the current layout.

Of course, almost all host nations build entirely new stadiums to hold World Cup matches. It wouldn't be far-fetched to imagine that it may be lucrative to finance removing the seating to accommodate a full soccer field. It would give approximately 1.5 months to re-add the seating after the World Cup before the Buckeye season started in the fall. I'm not sure on the logistics of that.

All speculation of course!

Ohio Stadium

How Firm Thy Friendship

DJ Byrnes's picture

The most recent Dos a Cero over Mexico in Crew Stadium was the best sporting event to which I've ever been. ELECTRIC.

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

jhart's picture

For people, sports are an outlet, almost a fantasy world, where a combination of joy, heartbreak and living vicariously through others exists.

This.  And then some.

Sports is an amazing catalyst that can create community among people who barely know each other.  It can also be a distraction when facing hard life obstacles, or a supplemental force in enjoying what life has to offer.

+2 HS
Onionballz's picture

I was at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin (Ireland) in June and saw a kid wearing Buckeye gear across the room.  Yelled O-H and he responded appropriately.  We then took turns mocking the guy from Cal who was in the room after he started talking trash.

"You must have been eating dumbfuck sandwiches when you came up with that logic" - Ramzy

+1 HS
BuckeyeChief's picture

I ran into a family in Cobh in May whose daughter goes to Ohio State. And I miss Columbus.

 

"Damn I miss El Guapo"

whobdis's picture

I grew up in the Columbus area but moved out about 15 years ago. It was frustrating to see our leaders just miss the boat on so many opportunities. How can these people go to conventions in San Antonio..Indianapolis..ect and come back and see nothing of that magnitude being developed or even in the plans? Much of it as due to bickering amoungst our politicians..the Columbus 500 is a prime example. Not long before I moved I believe it was the Jacobs that wanted to put an entertainment area in the old Lazarus warehouse..but they couldn't obtain what they needed from our city decision makers. It sounds like we have some leaders with some vision stepping up..kudos.

 

shortbus20's picture

Great article  Kyle

  • shortbus20
d1145fresh's picture

I moved to Columbus a little over a year ago specifically for this purpose. It is a city that is on the move upwards in a time where that is rare to find. The major sports related moves I would love to see is the Crew Stadium being moved downtown; outdoor hockey game at the Shoe; and the Shoe hosting the NCAA Football playoff game (whatever it is called). I know the last one is a long shot but maybe they can make a big push for the 100th year of the stadium (2022)??

+3 HS
Boxley's picture

Until we get a pro team in one of the big three american sports, fotball, baseball, or basketball, we will never be seen as a sports town. College sports absolutely, we just need to get a pro team here.

Yes I am aware of the Blue Jackets and the Crew. But even with the rise in soccer, we need those TV screens all season long that only a big three pro team brings to any city.

Born and raised here. Love my city, but we still need to crest that mountain of a big three team. That would require a stadium/arena that can hold 20K for BkB, 50K for Bb of FB. Where would we put it, parking will be a monster in downtown areas. Fairgrounds? Best place, but the local surrounding it is not the best choice.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

-1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

Two 19K+ seat arenas, a 20K+ soccer specific stadium, and one of the nicest minor league parks in the country (holds upwards of 10K I think).  NFL will never happen and MLB will never happen.  The best bet is an NBA team splits NWA with the Jackets, but that is unlikely any time soon.  Plus...OSU Men's (and Women's) hoops, NHL, and NBA all in the same season?  Not sure that will work.  Not to mention football season eats into the starts of all of those.

+3 HS
DannyBeane's picture

The major thing I wish Columbus would attempt to fix in the future is public transportation. The bus system in Columbus is a nightmare if you're trying to do anything other than go up and down High Street. The more they invest in public transportation, the more the city opens itself up to travelers and younger people that don't like to drive as much. Every time I go to Chicago, I love the fact that I can get pretty much anywhere in the city in under an hour using only public transportation. However if I wanted to go from North Columbus such as Polaris, The Continent, Worthington etc to downtown, it'd take me 2-3 hours.

+8 HS
RedStorm45's picture

2-3 hours is a bit exaggerated, but I agree.  (If you map your route on COTA's website it will show you the lines to use - usually 1:30 depending on where you are going)

They are making some (small) strides here - COTA is revamping their system (their new CEO/President/whatever has been really good so far) to increase efficiency.  They have even put in research to study rail lines and street cars - sound like pipe dreams though.  Uber/Lyft/etc have all started service.  Car2go is an easy way to get around downtown and some immediate surrounding areas.  CoGo is a quick and easy bike share from the Short North to German Village.

But as for large scale public transit?  The street car proposal was shot down amidst budget concerns during the recession.  Mayor Coleman has said he wants light rail from the airport to downtown (it would also loop up to Easton perhaps).  There are some existing tracks in place for freight that could get you most of the way from the Convention Center out to the airport.  But certainly, some kind of light rail/streetcar/subway has to be the next step.  COTA and all those other options I listed aren't going to cut it for too much longer.

d1145fresh's picture

Completely agree. The next major step Columbus needs is some upgraded large scale public transit. What is even more frustrating is that the current rail system is actually not too bad in the layout. They would need to lay some new tracks, specifically light rail tracks, but it could be done. Unfortunately I think a lot of people don't think it would be used much but I would love if I could take a train to and from work everyday.

This guy has some pretty impressive designs regarding Columbus and rail systems. Especially his new one which uses existing track along with new tracks. http://www.tyznik.com/columbustransit/

+3 HS
AndyVance's picture

It would be interesting to see how a light rail system could function. With the several suburbs that are really part of the city - Dublin, Worthington, Westerville, New Albany, Gahanna, Reynoldsburg, Grovetucky - not to mention Polaris, Easton and the airport, it would certainly seem that the opportunities to link the various parts of the city to downtown would be of some utility.

DannyBeane's picture

Wow that's very similar to the idea I had all though more in depth my idea was to have two loops. The North/East loop that would go north on High Street then follow the eastern side of I-270 stopping at the relevant suburbs and then the South/West loop Which goes south on High Street and covers the western half of 270. The idea just seems so simple but of course money... even though I feel this would be a moneymaker in the long term by providing both jobs and giving incentives for younger techies to move to C-bus.

Michael Citro's picture

The next major step Columbus needs is some upgraded large scale public transit.

How about...

AndyVance's picture

Ignore the overlaid political messaging, but otherwise enjoy one of my favorite Phil Hartmann appearances on The Simpsons:

+1 HS
albinomosquito's picture

That is awesome.  I've lived in Columbus for 3 years now up by Polaris.  I've been downtown less than 10 times.. and most of those were the arena district.  I've moved up to Delaware now so the chances of voluntarily going back down there are slim.  The traffic and the parking alone ruin it for me.  Light rail would make things much easier.  Where do I sign up?

Nutty's picture

Agreed. The parking is a major pain in the arse. On campus is even worse than downtown. If you want a thriving downtown you have to provide a way for people to get there easily.

Nutty's picture

Agreed. The parking is a major pain in the arse. On campus is even worse than downtown. If you want a thriving downtown you have to provide a way for people to get there easily.

Barnsey69's picture

Definitely agree. Moved back here in late 90's from Chicago, and one thing I miss, besides Wrigleyville in general, is the public transportation. The investment needs to be made as soon as possible, especially if the City wants to be competitive in efforts to attract large-scale events.

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes!

Kurt's picture

As the city has embraced quality urban infill development, encouraged the renaissance of old neighborhoods like German Village along, invested in walkable and bikeable streets, the more successful its become both regionally and nationally - these things are correlated.  A great city provides its residents and visitors with a great diversity of choices whether it be entertainment, parks, neighborhoods and transportation and Columbus over the past 10-15 years has really been making huge strides on all of these fronts.

+1 HS
BucksfanXC's picture

Columbus has is an up and comer. I see Indianapolis getting a lot of events, NCAA, NFL and B1G specifically. I keep seeing these things spread out, now Minnesota's Twin Cities are getting into the act with the MLB and NFL events. If I had some money I'd start investing in commercial real estate in Des Moines Iowa as I think that has to be the next city for this movement to spread into. Then Lincoln, Nebraska.

I've seen Colorado become a booming state too. Lots of people I know moving to CO. So maybe it will spread out from there too. Not sure if it has to do with the legalization of marijuana or other policies and incentives offered by the state, but CO is thriving right now.

It's all good signs that the economy is improving across the country. Columbus has long been a barometer for the US as it has the perfect population demographics, etc. Test marketing and development is done out of Columbus all the time and I hope this revitalization is also going to catch on and be spread across the country soon.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Buckeyeneer's picture

I love this city. Whenever someone bashes it, it's because they've never been here, haven't been here in years and years, or they hate OSU and anything associated with it.

I can relate with the third one as I have to go to Ann Arbor at the end of the week for business. I hate that place.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+6 HS
Tater_Schroeder's picture

Well said.

And the Dutch.

How Firm Thy Friendship

+6 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

Yeah, it's pretty strange that many scUM grads call Columbus a cow-town, because Columbus has always been bigger than Anny Arbor.

I think it is their way of trying to put us down.  They cannot be that stupid, can they?

Marc Pocock (a.k.a NuttyBuckeye)

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

DannyBeane's picture

I know how can you call Columbus cowtown, when its a major capital city, while Ann Arbor is still a whore?

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

I think the downtown/Arena District area could have been boosted even more by putting a more urban casino in (cough, west of Huntington Park, cough) and within walking distance of thousands of downtown hotels.  Instead, it's quite a trek out of downtown to get there and in a...how do I put this nicely...not great area.  It's more of a hassle in my opinion, rather than a nice attraction to complement the concert venues, arena, ballpark, etc.  I mean, if you live in the city, you can get to it, but it seems like it would be easier for out of town visitors if it were in the originally proposed spot instead of on the West Side.

Buckeyeneer's picture

It was supposed to go downtown originally but then it was forced out on West Broad.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

AndyVance's picture

Columbus is an amazing city, and the metro in general is pretty darn great. I have to tip my hat to Port Columbus, as well, because after having been in a LOT of airports from Dubuque to Denver, Port Columbus is pretty darn great. Very traveler-friendly, and that plays a role in the making of a great city. The University's growth and move from "excellence to eminence" is also a part of the story.

Columbus is a major metropolitan city that feels like a small town at heart, which makes it all the more friendly and inviting, especially for young people and families.

+1 HS
Buckeye Chuck's picture

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote, “At times this stadium on the northeast coast of Brazil felt like Columbus, Ohio" 

When a national reporter can write that sentence and feel confident about leaving out that last word, we'll know Columbus has truly arrived.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+6 HS
Jason Gruber's picture

Exactly. I can remember when saying Columbus, Ohio was important. I feel we are getting close to leaving the Ohio part off. Especially with the national events constantly being held there. 

"You win with people." Woody Hayes

"If winning isn't everything, why do we keep score?" Vince Lombardi

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯" Joey Bosa

toad1204's picture

I need to check the help wanted adds in C-Bus again....

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

+1 HS
Jason Gruber's picture

I can only hope that the city, Ohio State, and the Blue Jackets can figure out how to get a hockey game in the Shoe. I would kill to see that game in person, weather be damned!!! 

"You win with people." Woody Hayes

"If winning isn't everything, why do we keep score?" Vince Lombardi

"¯\_(ツ)_/¯" Joey Bosa

+2 HS
RedStorm45's picture

This.

For awhile, talks went nowhere.  But with the management partnership between the university and the Schott/NWA, I think it could have some legs.  The NHL paid Michigan $3 million to use their stadium - so it would be a nice chunk of change.  Plenty of close teams - Detroit, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Chicago (of course, then you run the risk of the CBJ being embarrassed by having thousands of more away fans show up).  I think 2016 there is a decent chance, especially if the Jackets make it deeper into the playoffs.

+1 HS
Nappy's picture

I moved from Dayton to Indy in 2001.  While Ohio >>>>>>> Indiana, I love Indianapolis.  But if I ever were to move back to the Motherland, the only city I'd consider would be Columbus.  Because Thurman's.

Fan of bacon since 1981

AndyVance's picture

Indy is a great city. An annual convention I attend each fall alternates between Indy and Louisville. When it first went to Indianapolis, I was not at all happy, mostly because I had not spent enough time in the downtown area. When the convention moved back to Kentucky, I quickly realized that Indianapolis has done a great job of making itself extremely convention-friendly. Lots of things to see and do, and places to eat, within walking distance of the stadium, the field house, the convention center, and several major hotels.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Nappy, I have only gone to Indy for work and have never been there more than a week at a time. I feel like Indy and Columbus are doppelgangers. While not the same, they have a very similar feel. Agree/disagree?

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+1 HS
Nappy's picture

Completely agree.  I've not spent much time in Columbus outside of going to football and basketball games but the little time I did spend there reminded me a lot of Indy.

Fan of bacon since 1981

+1 HS
Michael Citro's picture

It was really great to be in Columbus when the Chill were driving fan enthusiasm toward the bid for an NHL team. A lot of people underestimate how much the Chill's success drove that project. I always felt the city was one "big four" sports franchise from having a renaissance and that happened. 

"It’s so important to get folks here to see the package we have, because it’s a winning package. We like to tell our story and flex our muscles.”

Sounds like me in college.

“We close at about a seven out of 10 rate.”

This does not sound like me in college.

UrbanPirate's picture

This was the PERFECT article to read before finally moving back to Columbus today! I absolutely cherished my time there during my college days, but it wasn't until I left for life in other big cities that I truly came to appreciate just how special Columbus is. The music scene, festivals and city events, all the districts so closely knit together, and above all else; there's a sense of community that unites every single person associated with this great city! Columbus here I come!

Just... Go Bucks.

    

+9 HS
UrbanPirate's picture

Why thank you sir! I made my first trip back in 4 years a few weeks ago to interview; I have to say I'm supremely excited to delve into all the new hot spots! I don't know of I've ever seen a city that continues to grow and improve as fast as good ol' Columbus town! 

Just... Go Bucks.

    

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

I highly recommend ColumbusUnderground.com.  They come out with a "Mega Weekend" newsletter every Thursday of events and stuff going on each weekend.  And they have articles on "hot spots" for eating, entertainment, etc.

+2 HS
UrbanPirate's picture

Great stuff! Thanks Storm

Just... Go Bucks.

    

+1 HS
Sturdy Son of Ohio's picture

Very uplifting and informative article.  The information associated with the article and your responses absolutely backs up many of the reasons my wife and I settled on Columbus as our city of choice upon our return to Ohio from the DMV area.  It just feels good to apart of a city that has a real community feel to it, much different from the areas that we experienced in Maryland and Virginia.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

I'm undoubtedly one of the older posters on this site.  When I was 7 or 8 years old I used to walk a couple of miles to the bus stop, take the bus downtown to the YMCA, swim and do gymnastics, then take the bus back home (today, if you let a kid do that, family services would be knocking on your door!). I remember as the bus made it to downtown, the city had no skyline, it was flat with one and only one skyscraper, the Lincoln LeVeque tower.  Dublin was a lot of farmland, now it is yuppieville.  Yes, Columbus has come a long way over the past 60 years.  People from outside the state sometimes judge Ohio when they only visit cities like Steubenville or Canton, but Columbus is in my mind the jewel city of the state, and one of the nicest cites in the midwest and the country.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+4 HS
Horvath22's picture

I've always loved Columbus. Born and raised on the far eastside (in those days) near Alum Creek. East High grad and OSU alum. I've been gone for many years, but still get back in the fall for OSU football. Not to date myself, but when I was a kid the Lincoln Leveque tower was the AIU building. By the way, is there still an observation platform up top?

+1 HS
Idaho Helga's picture

Not only was Dublin a lot of farmland, but Canal Winchester was just a fire station, a speed trap, maybe an ice cream shop too and a very small rural school if I remember right.  I'm old enough to remember when German Village was run down and housing was some of the cheapest around.

+1 HS
Burritos Noches's picture

The way I always describe Columbus: Small Town feel with Big Town resources.

"3 yards and a cloud of dust" - Woody "Pow Right In The Kisser" Hayes

+4 HS
Horvath22's picture

Great job Kyle. I appreciate your writing. It appears that you put a lot of time into your articles, aside from the actual  writing. Really enjoyed your East Coast interviews.

Tater_Schroeder's picture

My wife and I grew up in rural northwest Ohio and live their now. She attended BGSU while I attended TOSU. Although we haven't been all over the country together, we've both visited many cities, and when we discuss the thought of ever living in a city, Columbus is always hands-down number one on the list. Great write-up!

How Firm Thy Friendship

hit_the_couch's picture

An NBA team in Columbus has long created passionate viewpoints. For now, though, the city will settle for Cavaliers exhibition games.

If this happened, how many people would actually start following the new team instead of the Cavs or their old team. I don't watch basketball though. However, I know if Columbus ever got a baseball or football team, I wouldn't pay them any attention and continue to follow the Reds and Bengals.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

hit_the_couch's picture

double post.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

Joebobb's picture

The best thing about Columbus is that it is only 90 minutes away from Cincinnati, the greatest city in America!!!

-7 HS
HeuermanTheFireman's picture

I absolutely love Columbus. I moved here about 2 1/2 years ago to attend tOSU. The only thing it is missing and the reason I will move away after school is a big mountain to ski. 

The person responsible for toes clearly wanted you to stub them.

+1 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

Come on now. Ohio has the world's nicest former landfills to ski on.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

HeuermanTheFireman's picture

If only they were bigger!

The person responsible for toes clearly wanted you to stub them.

RenegadeBuckeye's picture

It won't be long until Homeland Security is busing refugee children from Detroit across the border into cbus. 

+2 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Man, makes me want to move back to Columbus.  One day...one day. 

OHCelt's picture

One posterhas commented, but the only shame is that Crew Stadium is where it is, and not in the Arena District, alongside NWA and Huntington Park. Perhaps if the US made a successful bid for a future World Cup, then there would be incentive to build a larger stadium downtown. Then public transport does need to be addressed -something like Portland's grid system, with extensions to the major suburbs. It just needs courage and vision from our leaders.