Our weekly series, Live to Explore, features Columbus’ thriving neighborhoods through the eyes of influential people who live, work and play in the area. Discover personal stories, favorite locales and best kept secrets about the neighborhoods that make our city so special, from the people who experience them every day!
This week, we’re highlighting the Arena District with Dante Washington, director of team strategic partnerships and business development with the Columbus Crew SC and former striker for the Crew.
Why is the Arena District special to you?
I view the Arena District as the “heart of the city.” I grew up in the Baltimore/DC area, so I like the energy of cities, and I believe the Arena District in Columbus provides that energy and entertainment options. I worked at Nationwide for eight years – over that time I became acquainted with the neighborhood and everything it has to offer. I’m excited that Columbus Crew SC will now be a part of that environment.
What do you appreciate most about having the new Lower.com Field in the Arena District?
It provides an exciting and more intimate feel to Columbus Crew matches. Along with that, I think it gives our supporters an opportunity to enact new traditions. It's easy to navigate and I think that our fans appreciate the feeling of having a “march” on matchdays.
Why should visitors and residents of Columbus spend time in the Arena District?
The Arena District is the pulse of downtown Columbus. It’s a spot in the city that can provide a “nightlife” ambience filled with concerts and sporting events, but not to the point where you feel overwhelmed. That is the same energy we’re trying to bring to the area. We want to provide Columbus with first-class entertainment options. Not only on matchdays but on non-matchdays as well. Having our Plaza outside of the stadium and our Crewhouse available for the public will give residents more reason to visit the neighborhood.