What you missed in Columbus for June 21
Historic Crew Stadium hosts its final game, companies struggle to find workers and Dave Chappelle has a big weekend in NYC
Over the weekend, the Columbus Crew played its final game at Historic Crew Stadium, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-0 on Saturday.
"This was one of the best environments I've been in," coach Caleb Porter said. “For me, this has to rank up there among one of the best games and environments that this city and our supporters have ever witnessed and been a part of. It was electric.”
The stadium, which opened in 1999 as the first soccer-specific venue in MLS history, will give way to a newly completed Arena District stadium, which will host its first game on July 3 when the Crew plays against New England.
"It's something that as a guy from Ohio growing up it was a lot of emotions and a lot of things kind of culminating into one and just a great atmosphere, great night,” goalkeeper Evan Bush said of the final game at the old stadium. “It's a moment I'll never forget, for sure.”
Local business owners are still attempting to develop new strategies to lure workers, with some companies struggling to fill openings as the state continues to reopen in the wake of the slowing coronavirus pandemic.
In the Dispatch, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati President George Goldhoff blamed additional unemployment benefits with keeping workers home. "We were in competition with the U.S. Government," he said. Others blamed long-stagnant starting wages, which in recent weeks has led some businesses, including White Castle, to increase minimum pay offerings.
The Dispatch feature noted the staff shortages have taken a particular toll on the service industry, with the Ohio Restaurant Association's latest survey finding that 65 percent of its members said employee shortages are at a "critical stage."
But talking to workers, particularly those who have left the service industry, paints a more complex picture than the recurring "nobody wants to work" narrative trumpeted by some politicians and business owners.
“People don’t realize we’re stuck in spaces where there’s immense amounts of substance abuse, harassment, unlivable wages and being overworked,” said Dru Batte, who worked at Brothers Drake Meadery for four years prior to the lockdown but has since taken a job in addiction services, which she described as an extension of the grassroots work she had done previously in service of harm reduction. “That dialogue that people don’t want to work … perpetuates a lot of the stigma we have in the service industry, where as employees we’re not seen as valuable, where we’re seen as disposable. And public perception is already that folks in the service industry don’t deserve a good wage. In light of the pandemic, it’s shocking to me people are still having these conversations. … It’s not that people don’t want to work, it’s that we’re sick of working in unsafe, underpaid positions.”
It was quite a weekend for famed Ohio resident Dave Chappelle. First, the comedian visited New York City for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of his new documentary, "This Time This Place," captured during a series of socially distanced comedy shows Chappelle hosted in his Yellow Springs hometown last summer.
Then on Sunday, Chappelle appeared onstage at Madison Square Garden with the Foo Fighters during the arena's first post-COVID concert, where he led the band in a version of Radiohead's "Creep," which you can watch in the video below.