A season opener in any sport is a special time of year. Teams begin a new campaign with a fresh start, a 0-0 record, and aspirations to play for a championship late into the year.
For fans of the Columbus Crew, the March 2020 season opener provided special moments. It provided the last chance for fans to enjoy a full campaign inside of the friendly confines of MAPFRE Stadium. It also signified the beginning of the second season for the Caleb Porter/Tim Bezbatchenko regime and the Haslam/Edwards ownership.
Fans had plenty of reasons to celebrate the new beginnings.
The club and city had begun the healing process from the damage created by former owner Anthony Precourt. Interest in the Crew brand increased around the city, from the casual fan, to the most diehard, and was peaked when the Black & Gold had spent a club-record $7 million on playmaker Lucas Zelarayan.
The opening day festivities began with team owner Dr. Pete Edwards enjoying a champagne toast at sunrise. Fans then participated in the ritual of #MEGATAILGATE, where members of various supporters’ groups gather prior to kick-off to share drinks, memories and laughs prior to kickoff.
The weather in Central Ohio might be cold but fans stay warm with the Black and Gold embrace of one another as they prepare to head into battle against the visiting team, gathering in the Nordecke to support their team for 90 minutes.