Columbus, OH — Remember this name, folks. Mike DeWine.
Anyway, some rather great news came out of Columbus Monday evening as the Ohio Attorney General, alongside the City of Columbus, filed a lawsuit against Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), the operator/investor of Columbus Crew SC, and Major League Soccer.
The lawsuit entails that they want to protect Ohio taxpayers’ interests and ensure the team’s owners follow Ohio law, should they move the team to Austin, Texas.
Ohio Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Precourt Sports Ventures
DeWine broke the news on Twitter, and it quickly stormed throughout all of Crew Nation.
#BREAKING: My office, and the city of Columbus, has filed a lawsuit against Precourt Sports Ventures, the operator/investor of @ColumbusCrewSC, & @MLS, to protect taxpayer interests & ensure they follow the law if they seek to move the team to TX. #CrewSC https://t.co/01Mo8QRYGv
— Ohio AG Mike DeWine (@OhioAG) March 5, 2018
Well, it’s about to go down.
DeWine said in a quote in his statement, “Today I have filed a lawsuit in Franklin County to try to #SaveTheCrew and keep the Black and Gold in Columbus. Loyal Crew fans in Columbus have invested their time and loyalty in this team, and they have allowed the Crew SC to capitalize from financial incentives paid for by their tax dollars. I am left with no other choice than to file this suit to ensure our laws are followed.”
It wasn’t long after the October 17th announcement regarding Precourt’s intentions that folks were rallying around each other at local bars, trying to figure out a way to keep their beloved soccer team in the heart of Ohio. Then came the #SaveTheCrew movement. And it has grown bigger and better ever since.
“As I have said, we believe Columbus Crew SC belongs in Columbus. We have a rich history of professional soccer and some of the most loyal and dedicated fans in the league,” Ohio Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said.
What does this mean for Columbus?
In 1996, the Cleveland Browns were moved from Ohio to Baltimore, Maryland.
The General Assembly thus enacted Ohio Revised Code 9.67. Although it is a small, written law that makes sense, it prohibits owners from moving their teams elsewhere unless they give at least six months advance notice of the intention to sell the team locally.