Buck-A-Brat Night returns Wednesday

The Columbus Crew's famous Johnsonville Buck-A-Brat Nights have returned to Crew Stadium for a sixth season and kick into high gear on Wednesday when The Crew takes on the Dallas Burn at 7:30 p.m.

All game long, and throughout the stadium, juicy, full-size Johnsonville Bratwurst will be sold for just $1 each, as they have been for all regular-season Wednesday home games since Crew Stadium opened in 1999.

After this Wednesday's game, the final Johnsonville Buck-A-Brat Night of the season is on Wednesday, August 18, vs. the Kansas City Wizards at 7:30 p.m. The Crew already had a bonus Buck-A-Brat Night on Wednesday, June 30, during a U.S. Open Cup game.

"Johnsonville is very proud to be in its sixth year of supporting of the Columbus Crew," said Jim Huston, Regional Sales Manager, Johnsonville Sausage, LLC. "The partnership continues to deliver a high quality experience to the loyal Columbus Crew fan base. Buck-A-Brat night is an experience that can't be matched anywhere in the world."

Over the first 18 events, involving every regular-season Wednesday home game (plus one international match, one U.S. Open Cup match and the 2002 U.S. Open Cup Final) since 1999, an average of 13,601 juicy, full-size Johnsonville bratwurst have been sold for just $1 each.

The all-time Brats-Per-Person (BPP) Ratio is a staggering .941 entering the 2004 season, meaning that 941 brats are consumed for every 1,000 people in attendance - or nearly one per person!

"Wednesday home games at Crew Stadium have become synonymous with Johnsonville Buck-a-Brat Nights," said Interim Crew General Manager Mark McCullers. "It seems that their popularity just continues to grow and it's fun to see the response they continue to receive."

The Columbus Crew and New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, the largest African American Baptist Church in Columbus with a membership of 5,000 (2956 Cleveland Ave.), will host five South African students at Wednesday's game at Crew Stadium.

The Crew will recognize the five South African students and their interpreter, along with their host families from New Salem, prior to the game. The students are 9-12 years of age and are in the United States for the first time. Host families from the church have opened their homes to these students for four weeks. The students have been in Columbus since July 7 and will return to South Africa on August 4. Each family has planned activities for the students to assist them in learning how African Americans live in the States. The Crew game is the highlight of their visit.

"This initiative with New Salem is a great opportunity for the Columbus Crew and MLS to extend its reach out to the African American Community here in Columbus and to South Africa where the sport of soccer is almost a religion," said Mark McCullers, Interim General Manager of the Crew.

Pastor and Mrs. Troy, along with Minister Joe Branch, Director of Missions, along with several other church administrators traveled to South Africa this past March. The purpose of the trip was mission outreach. New Salem partnered with The International Children's Outreach Ministry (ICOM), and Lott Carey Foreign Mission for the missions trip. Pastor Troy is the First Vice President of Lott Carey Foreign Mission. Lott Carey helps churches extend their Christian ministries worldwide in the areas of religion, health and education initiatives and through partnerships with faith communities, cultural groups, and government organizations. Lott Carey has programs in the following countries: Guyana, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The U.S. Soccer Foundation, in partnership with Major League Soccer, Kwik Goal and Eurosport, will be collecting new and gently used soccer equipment on Wednesday, July 28, at Crew Stadium, when The Crew plays host to the Dallas Burn at 7:30 p.m. The equipment collected will in turn be passed on to our local community.

With the assistance of each MLS team, the U.S. Soccer Foundation's Passback Program provides an opportunity for communities to reach out to one another in a very unique way. Not only can they work together to collect new and gently used soccer gear - they can see their joint efforts grow as the bins fill with gear that can and will be used by kids who otherwise might not be able to play the wonderful sport of soccer.

The Foundation and its partners, Eurosport and Kwik Goal, are proud to be involved in this program, with Kwik Goal providing a set of goals to the club or team donating the most equipment and Eurosport providing a $200 gift certificate to the second-place team or individual.