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Columbus Crew partnering with IBM to optimize fan experience at new stadium

The Columbus Crew has announced it is partnering with tech giant IBM to help “transform the supporter experience” at the club’s planned new $230m downtown stadium.

The Major League Soccer team is in the process of designing a 20,000-seat, 430,000-square foot stadium, which is scheduled to open in 2021. The Crew currently plays at the Mapfre Stadium, its home since 1999.

In a partnership with IBM Services and IBM iX – the company’s creative business strategy division – the Crew will use supporter research and digital technologies to try to create a “unique, engaging environment for each individual fan”. They will also look to ensure that the stadium is “future flexible”.

Earlier this year, the Crew was taken over in part by the Haslam family, owners of the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns, after previous owner Anthony Precourt looked to move the team to Austin, Texas. A deal was reached in which the Crew would stay in Columbus under new ownership and Precourt would set up a new team in Austin.