Editorial (November 18, 2017) – This past Wednesday, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, and Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt met with Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther along with President and CEO of Columbus Partnership Alex Fischer about the potential relocation of the team to Austin, Texas. Let’s just say, it did not end well.
What Was Accomplished In Meeting With Don Garber, Anthony Precourt?
A massive hit just took its toll on the #SaveTheCrew movement. About this time last month, Precourt announced that he was exploring strategic options to move the team to Texas before the start of the 2019 MLS season if a downtown stadium won’t be built. Of course, that didn’t take too well with the fan base of the first team in MLS.
Fischer and Ginther have pledged their support to the Save The Crew movement since the announcement on October 17. Precourt had been open to hearing ideas to keep the team in Columbus.
After the meeting, Columbus officials released an official statement.
— Andrew Erickson (@AEricksonCD) November 15, 2017
Approximately half an hour later, Precourt Sports Ventures released their statement on the meeting.
Precourt statement: pic.twitter.com/XON0n6twz6
— Brian Straus (@BrianStraus) November 16, 2017
This did not set well, especially coming days before the team starts the Eastern Conference Final series with Trillium Cup rivals Toronto FC.
The Save The Crew Twitter then released a statement on their end.
So, What Was Accomplished?
Absolutely nothing was accomplished in the hours from when the meeting first started and ended. Despite support from every corner in the world backing Columbus supporters, it seems as though Precourt has his eyes set on Austin. Maybe before even making the announcement.
James Watt, captain of a brewery in Scotland has expressed interest in purchasing the team from Precourt and stated he will sell shares of the team back to fans. As good as that sounds, that seems to be much.
Ginther and Fischer have been attempting to sway the mind of MLS and Precourt to stay in Columbus. Given the three locations Precourt would like to have a stadium built, it seems impossible.
Columbus is set to take on Toronto in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Finals at MAPFRE Stadium on Novemebr 21 (8 p.m. EST | ESPN).