#SAVEDTHECREW

Hallelujah! The COLUMBUS Crew are one giant step closer to staying in their rightful home of Central Ohio. It has been almost a full calendar year since Crew fans were shocked at the news of a potential relocation of the franchise to Austin, Texas. Now we have some phenomenal news to celebrate. Cleveland Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam along with a Columbus-based ownership group, are said to be in negotiations with Major League Soccer to purchase the team from current owner/operator, Anthony Precourt. He would then be able to pursue his dream of having a franchise in Austin, which was clearly his plan from the moment he purchased the Crew in 2013.

While nothing is certain or set in stone, this news comes as a big-time move for supporters of the #SaveTheCrew movement. A variety of statements regarding the Crew possibly nearing a deal to stay in Columbus came out today. “We are optimistic about our recent conversations with MLS regarding the potential sale of the operating rights of the Columbus Crew,” stated Columbus Partnership President, Alex Fisher. “While there are many details to be worked out, our alliance is working diligently and collaboratively with the League to keep the Crew in its community. We are very excited about the quiet but deliberate progress that has been made to date and will keep the community updated as the process moves forward.”

A follow up statement from Browns owner, Jimmy Haslam shared that same sentiment:
“We value and appreciate the benefits a professional sports franchise can bring to a community and are hopeful to be a part of the solution to keep the Crew in Columbus. We would invest in a strong infrastructure within the Crew organization so that we can continue our focus and commitment to building a winning Cleveland Browns football team in Northeast Ohio. We look forward to seeing how this process evolves.”

The potential for a new downtown stadium was also mentioned, but no concrete plans are yet in motion. Precourt Sports Ventures, the company name in which Precourt operates, also released a statement but neglected to even mention the Crew potentially staying in Columbus. Making it even more apparent that he had zero interest in the Crew ever staying in Central Ohio. Good riddance to that clown! And good luck Austin dealing with his shenanigans.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, the most likely scenario for the Crew is the Haslam buyer group purchases the MLS rights of Columbus from Major League Soccer, then Precourt transfers his equity in the league to the Austin market. Austin FC would be on the shelf until 2021, which gives them ample time to build a stadium and construct a team from the ground up. In turn, the current players under contract with the Crew would stay in Columbus. Yay, Will Trapp!

COLUMBUS Crew wish list…
- Dump the Crew “SC” moniker and just stick with the tried and true “Columbus Crew”.
- Build a downtown-ish stadium, either near Huntington Park or the current plot of land at Berliner Park.
- Once Greg Berhalter takes over the US Men’s National Team or LA Galaxy, hire either Caleb Porter or former Crew legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto to be head coach.

Now let’s celebrate the goodness that is the COLUMBUS Crew staying in Central Ohio! Get your season tickets, buy your gear, support the team, and keep pushing #SaveTheCrew until it is official that we have #SavedTheCrew.

Save-the-crew-Rally.jpg