Ink Dries on Deal to Keep Crew SC in Columbus
It’s official — the Columbus Crew SC will remain in Columbus, operating under new ownership as of January 2019.
The deal was written in pencil back in October. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, along with a local ownership group involving the Columbus Partnership and Pete Edwards Jr., would assume ownership of the Crew, freeing Precourt Sports Ventures to launch a new team in Austin, TX.
That deal was set in stone today.
“While we work to finalize the deal promptly, we want to state publicly the tremendous collaboration and community support for Crew SC, which has set the stage for a powerful plan that includes a world-class soccer stadium – a critical step that will help ensure the club’s success on and off the field,” said Major League Soccer Commissioner Dan Garber in a statement.
The Columbus Partnership announced a plan earlier in December for a new $230 million soccer stadium. Sprawling over 13 acres along the north side of West Nationwide Boulevard, the proposed stadium would offer 20,000 seats on multiple levels of covered stands.
The Save The Crew movement, which provided much of the momentum behind the project, released a statement of celebration, also hinting that their role in it all may not be complete:
“Through the last year, we’ve shown that this community is eager to step up and go all in on the future of the Crew. Save The Crew will work with the new ownership group in the coming days to pass along our season ticket pledge list, provide support and expertise as desired, and lay the groundwork for a strong relationship between the fans, ownership, and the league.”
News of the Crew’s possible move to Austin broke last October. Since then, Save The Crew has led rallies, released renderings of potential new stadiums, and surpassed their goal of 10,000 pledges to purchase season tickets for 2019.
“We are extremely grateful for the efforts of the Columbus community, as well as Crew SC fans, to help us efficiently complete and fulfill the requirements and deadlines set by Major League Soccer that will help ensure the success of Crew SC on and off the field,” said Pete Edwards and Dee and Jimmy Haslam in a joint statement. “As the stewards of Crew SC, we will always be focused on building a championship caliber team that makes the city proud, creating dynamic and memorable fan experiences and deeply engaging the community to make a positive impact.”
Statement from Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership:
In October of 2017, our community faced the seemingly impossible task of keeping Columbus Crew SC where it belongs. Today, we are proud to announce an achievement many said was unattainable: The Columbus Crew is saved.
We proved that anything is possible if we work in the spirit of the Columbus Way. Our community’s ability to collaborate, a movement of unified voices, an intense passion for soccer and an unwavering love of Columbus created the heartbeat to drive a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment.
The list of those who deserve thanks for the success in this effort stretches far and wide: public and private sector leaders, Columbus residents and soccer fans around the world – especially Columbus Crew SC fans.
As we reflect on this past year, we beam with pride thinking about Columbus’ resilience and belief in the importance of people and partnerships across our community.
We look forward to joining Crew SC fans everywhere as we cheer on our team. We are proud to call Crew SC one of US.
Glory to Columbus.