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Columbus mayor, Precourt & Garber to have in-person talks in coming weeks

As the Columbus Crew prepare for their Eastern Conference knockout round game against Atlanta United on Thursday, the movement off the field to keep the club in Ohio is continuing.

Mayor Andrew Ginther and president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership Alex Fischer released a joint statement on Facebook on Tuesday with a progress report.

Crew owner Anthony Precourt and MLS commissioner Don Garber have been contacted to have face-to-face meetings about the hardships of the situation.

“We are resolved to do our part to keep the Columbus Crew SC in Columbus,” the statement said. “Over the weekend, we made contact with Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt and MLS Commissioner Don Garber. We reiterated our views to each very directly and have requested in-person meetings with both to discuss options for keeping the team in Columbus. They have agreed, and we expect those meetings to occur over the coming weeks.”

The statement praised Sunday’s “Save the Crew” rally and the efforts made around North America to support one of MLS’ original franchises.

“Sunday’s rally says it all about our great city, players and fans,” the statement read. “We are amazed at the encouragement we’ve received from you – and from Major League Soccer fans across the country – in support of Columbus and our efforts to keep Columbus Crew SC in our city. We appreciate all of the backers who recognize Columbus’ rightful place in the history of the MLS and U.S. Soccer.”

However, until the meetings take place, all those in Columbus can do is play the waiting game.

“Until those meetings take place, we don’t expect to have anything new to report,” the statement said. “We will keep our public comments focused on cheering on our beloved Columbus Crew SC during the playoffs.”


  1. I’m a Crew fan, but I’ve spent time in Austin. I think that Precourt underestimates the public opposition that will come with using the park land near Lady Bird Lake and the serious traffic issues in the town. There’ll be a lot of NIMBY with the stadium proposal wherever they try to go and a lot of anti-growth opposition locally.

  2. Well put AzTexan. Thank you for doing the research legwork and posting those numbers. It really helps with giving perspective. I think the owners maybe bought the team dreaming of a new taxpayer funded stadium in Austin with plenty of absurdly priced Luxury boxes for Austin’s Oracle, Dell, IBM, Ebay executives to buy out with company dollars. But whaddu I know

    • Because their owner bought the team fully intending to move the team all along, as evidenced by the fact that he couldn’t move the team for 10 years except for the out clause he added to move the team to Austin. Precourt is scum and no different from the OKC ownership group that moved the Sonics from Seattle.

      Further MLS shouldn’t relocate a team unless it’s a last resort. You could have just as easily made an argument that the Fire should have been moved to Austin in 2016, given their 2016 attendance number is the basically the same as Columbus’ 2017 number (15,602 and 15,439 respectively). Meanwhile, Chicago’s 2017 number is basically the same as Columbus’ 2016 number (17,383 and 17,125 respectively).

      You could try to argue that Columbus is a college town and Chicago is a top 5 market, but then why is MLS swapping one college town for another? Austin is a fair weather sports town, even for UT football. If you think Austin will do any better than Dallas or Houston in terms of filling a stadium, you can add that to the long list of things you don’t understand.

      Also, Columbus has outdrawn Colorado in 2016 and 2017 and is barely behind Philly. They are by no means in Chivas USA territory. Don’t act like throwing away the Columbus market for Austin is this necessary move that can’t be avoided. Precourt should sell the team to local Columbus business leaders with a genuine interest in succeeding and if they can’t turn things around after at least a few more years, then let Precourt buy the team back.

      • Add to that the fact that Precourt tanked the tv contracts (complete with severe MLS Live blackouts) leaving the majority of people living within 50 miles no way to watch the Crew.
        You can also point to the lack of marketing to anyone not living within 5 miles of the stadium.

    • I do not think dignity/respect means what you think it means.

      Go check out #SaveTheCrew to see how much Columbus respects the Crew.

      What shouldn’t be respected is Precourt’s clause in the contract allowing him to bypass the stipulation that the Crew be kept in Columbus.


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