A meeting between Columbus city officials and members of Precourt Sports Ventures on Tuesday didn’t end amicably as both sides appear far apart when it comes to keeping the Crew in town.
In a joint statement from Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Alex Fischer, president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, the city leaders said that they were “disappointed and frustrated” by the events of Tuesday’s meeting, which was attended by Crew owner Anthony Precourt and MLS commissioner Don Garber. The statement says little progress has been made in keeping the Crew in Columbus over a potential move to Austin.
“We know this is heartbreaking for the dedicated fans in Columbus and across the country who have shown unwavering support for the Columbus Crew SC,” ths statement from mayor Ginther and Fischer said. “We are disappointed and frustrated.
“We were united in putting all options on the table, with the expectation in return that the MLS and ownership would cease pursuing moving the team to Austin. Great American cities do not get into bidding wars over sports teams to benefit private owners. Garber and Precourt were not willing to do that today.
“Once the league and owner are committed to Columbus, we stand ready, willing and able to support the team’s success.”
On the other side, Precourt Sports Ventures countered that the group had “open minds” and were “extremely disappointed” to not be met with a concrete proposal to keep the team in Columbus.
The Crew return to action on Tuesday against Toronto FC at MAPFRE Stadium.