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#SaveTheCrew Organizers Pen Letter to MLS Commissioner Don Garber

Walker Evans Walker Evans #SaveTheCrew Organizers Pen Letter to MLS Commissioner Don GarberThe Columbus Crew return to Mapfre Stadium this weekend for another heart-stopping game. Don't miss out! (Photo by Matt Ellis.)
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Following the open letter penned by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther on Friday, the organizers behind the #SaveTheCrew movement have penned their own letter to Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber. The letter continues the push to have the Columbus Crew SC team purchased from current owner Anthony Precourt, and relocated into a new wold-class stadium somewhere in the Downtown area.

The full letter can be read below:

Mr. Don Garber
Commissioner, Major League Soccer

Commissioner Garber,

Greetings from the organizers of #SaveTheCrew. We reach out to you in an effort to open a dialogue that can be mutually beneficial to the league and the City of Columbus. #SaveTheCrew is ready and willing to work with the league and team investor/operators to develop Columbus Crew SC into the premier club in Major League Soccer, all while keeping the original MLS team here in Columbus where it belongs.

We applauded the news indicating your preference for our team to remain in our city. More than anything, we want to make that happen. We want to work in partnership with the league and the team to ensure the future viability and success of the league’s original franchise.

In the letter last week from Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, he laid out an easy path forward to keep the Columbus Crew SC where it belongs: a local ownership group ready to purchase the team, and land available in downtown to build a new world-class stadium, maintaining Columbus as soccer’s home in the United States. This announcement demonstrates the level of support that already exists for this team in this city. This support would dramatically expand with the addition of locally-based ownership.

When the news broke in October that the team’s ownership was exploring options outside of Columbus, the fans banded together to do anything and everything we could to keep this team in this city. Since then, we have been busy. Our message has spread through local, national, and international news outlets. We have sponsored charity events. We have advertised for our team in the place of a perceived lack of self-promotion. We have donated game tickets to local nonprofits that support refugee children. We’ve met with elected officials. We’ve held weekly meetings to discuss strategy and direction. We have recruited over 300 local and national business allies to support our cause, including both statements of support and strong financial investment in our efforts. We strategically built a powerful, international, volunteer-driven, grassroots movement to help the team we love.

We are also MLS fans through and through. We are heavily involved in supporters groups. We paint tifos. We have season tickets. We travel to away games, spending our hard-earned dollars on tickets across the league. We work with the American Outlaws to promote U.S. Soccer when the men’s and women’s national teams come to town. We show up time and again, rain or shine, through thick and thin to show the entire world who we are and why this community matters. We are the fans of Columbus Crew SC, and we are committed to ensuring the team is strong and has a vital future. In short, we’ve been here since day one – and we’re not going anywhere.

We have sought and received support and unity from like-minded fans of this beautiful game, across the league and around the world. We’ve spoken with supporters groups from every single team in Major League Soccer, and we are all aligned in our commitment to do whatever it takes to keep this team in this city. There’s a reason you’re seeing #SaveTheCrew banners in stands across the league and around the world.

We are sending this letter to define and clarify the opportunity that exists for the league based on the hard work of #SaveTheCrew. The league has an opportunity, right now, to bolster its commitment to being a community-centric brand by listening to and heeding the message of its consumers. We sincerely believe that if the charter franchise of the league is tossed aside, it would usher in the darkest hour in league history. Your legacy as commissioner and your stewardship of American soccer depend on MLS taking action to keep the Crew in Columbus.

With our proven connection to the hearts and minds of Columbus and beyond, and together with the league’s renewed commitment to the City of Columbus, we can take this unique moment in the history of American sports and build upon the best grassroots movement MLS has ever seen. We want you to know that we are ready to use every strategic tool at our disposal to accomplish our shared goals of a successful and viable franchise in Columbus for generations to come.

Let’s build the future success of Columbus Crew SC, together. We are ready. You can reach out to us directly at [email protected] or 614-382-4021. Respectfully,

Your friends at #SaveTheCrew:
Tom Davis (Crew SC fan)
Sarah Hall (Crew SC fan)
Katie Mitchell (Hudson Street Hooligans)
David Foust (Greater Columbus Golden Boys And Girls)
Kelly Foust (Greater Columbus Golden Boys And Girls)
Kevin Glenn(Crew Supporters Union)
David Miller (Crew SC fan)
Robert Rovick (Crew Supporters Union)
Morgan Hughes (#TIFOSWEAT)
Donald Murray (Murderers’ Row)
Kevin McCollough (Crew Supporters Union)
Tobias Roediger (Corporate STM)
Darby Schaaf (Crew SC fan)
Mark Vuchenich (Crew SC fan)
John Zidar (#TIFOSWEAT)

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