The price of admission
Anita Carroll, a Cincinnati native turned Columbus resident, spends $750 a year on her seat near the front row. FC Cincinnati fans have been paying about $500 apiece for comparable season tickets at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium.
The lower-priced supporters sections also show a big price difference. A season ticket at The Bailey at Nippert runs $170 apiece vs. $342 for The Nordecke in Columbus.
As for single-game tickets, Crew SC's cost between $30 and $70 last season – less in advance online and more at the stadium on game day. Seats ran $10 to $60 for FC Cincinnati.
Jerseys? Also more expensive
Top-quality jerseys run as much as $40 more for MLS teams as compared to the local squad, and that’s without a famous player’s name on the back.
A Crew SC jersey with the number of star midfielder Wil Trapp goes for $150 at the Mapfre Stadium pro shop, compared with the top price of $85 for an unnamed FC Cincinnati jersey.
The extras: Parking and concessions
Crew SC fans pay a lot more than FC Cincinnati supporters for their parking. A spot costs $20 next to Mapfre, while it routinely costs about $10 around Nippert Stadium.
On the upside, the food options are a lot better compared to Nippert.
Choices at Mapfre and most other MLS stadiums cater to local tastes. Columbus mainstay Schmidt's Sausage Haus, for instance, has a stand at Mapfre with locally made hot dogs and sausages.
Jeni's ice cream, Columbus' answer to Graeters, also is available.
And the prices are similar to those at Nippert: A hot dog goes for $4 and a Papa John's individual pizza costs $8 at Mapfre.
Mapfre also offers plenty of Ohio-made beer – Jackie O's out of Athens, Great Lakes out of Cleveland and even Columbus-based Land Grant – as well as the big brands. That's similar to FC Cincinnati games, where vendors include offerings from Cincinnati breweries such as Rhinegeist, Moerlein and Madtree.
If FCC moves up, one thing’s for sure – they will still offer Modelo, one of MLS’ major sponsors.
But beer is a little more expensive in Columbus. A premium beer goes for $9 or so at Nippert, while a smaller draft of a similar brand costs $10.50 at Mapfre.