2022 GFD 🏆 Awards

Silver Winner | Columbus Crew: Club, Suites, Restaurant | BLUR Workshop

In 1999 the first soccer specific stadium was opened, making Major League Soccer history. This stadium set the bar for other clubs around the country and solidified the MLS presence in the United States. The team’s Owner wanted to recapture the groundbreaking history of the original stadium in the new ground up stadium, and provide a fan-forward venue that could be used year-round by the community. Ownership did not want a glitzy stadium, but instead wanted the premium spaces to be appropriate and comfortable for the team’s mid-Western fan base. The premium spaces within the stadium include four separate club spaces, field level and upper-level suites and a restaurant open to the general public. Each of the clubs has a different ticket price, game day offering, target guest and experience.

Global Future Design Awards 2023: Entries Open! 

Silver 🏆 Winner
Global Future Design Awards 2022

Columbus Crew: Club, Suites, Restaurant
Public Building Interior (Built)

BLUR Workshop

Liz Neiswander

Design Team
Liz Neiswander: PIC – Lucinda Aron – Foreman Rogers – JP Mayer – Max Neiswander – Matt Singleton – Samantha Sullivan

Columbus, OH USA

United States

©Galina Juliana


Rather than adopting the approach that other professional sports stadiums have used, where the design is intended to awe the fan, spaces were designed with a more residential feel to welcome the community and create an environment where they would feel comfortable. The goal was to create a range of experiences that would appeal to different demographics of fans, while still being cohesive in their design and to create a stadium that was relevant to the community beyond game days. The clubs should also reflect the high energy of the team, games and fan base, while being complementary to the dynamic stadium design. While each club needed to feel unique, they should hang together as part of the overall stadium experience.

An overall palette of colors and materials was developed, that drew inspiration from the city and worked together cohesively. To further connect to the stadium’s location, local craftsmen and artists were sought out to create custom pieces, and ultimately the majority of the furnishings were locally made.


The Rail Club is distinguished by its bright yellow ribbon ceiling, creating a high energy space for game day. Across the field, the River Club is anchored by a 28 foot long walnut bar, made locally. The custom banquettes were designed to look permanent, but are movable to allow the club to be rented for events. The Huntington Club sits on the west side of the field and is the club that players come through, mingling with fans, as they enter the field for each game. They pass by an infinity mirror wall that uses the team’s logo as a basis for a custom pattern. The centerpiece of the club is a 16’ diameter decorative pendant, shaped like a soccer ball. Here too, the large banquettes were designed to be movable, allowing the club to be easily transformed.

The highest ticket price club sits on the east side at field level. Lounge spaces, suites and the club’s bar were designed with a hospitality feel. The design team took the transition space between the club and the field and created an exterior gathering space, unlike any in any other stadium, with lounge seating and two fireplaces.