Editorial (March 31, 2018) – “I’m not attending games because I’m giving Precourt my money.” That was the sentence thrown around all of Columbus, Ohio after Columbus Crew SC owner/investor Anthony Precourt voiced his expression of a possible relocation to Austin, Texas.
That statement still burns my ears to this day. And frankly, I’m tired of it.
Not Attending Games Gives Precourt His Narrative
Since the start of the 2018 MLS season, Crew SC fans have been finding ways of supporting the team from afar, whether it be at home or at a local bar. I have even seen multiple “supporters” sell their season tickets.
Why? Well because nobody wants to support Precourt, that’s why.
The home opener saw 11,098 see Columbus defeat the Montreal Impact, but upon my view from the press box, there seemed to be just a tad more. The next home game, a 3-1 win over D.C. United gave you 8,443. Which I find understandable because not only was it cold, you also had the local NHL team looking to extend their win streak to 11 games at home. And finally, a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps, 8,992. But there was more in my opinion.
Time to rant
Here’s the deal.
I understand not wanting to spend money at the stadium because “you’re giving money to Precourt,” but at the same time, not showing up to games is only giving him his narrative to move the team. Time and time again I’ve heard “Columbus has no support” but when I see all the Black and Gold faithful in the stands, I disregard it.
Now, it’s starting to ring true. It shouldn’t matter whether or not you’re giving the owner money. The guys who wear the crest over their heart, is who you should be attending matches for.
Even the looks on local television broadcasts are showing that he [Precourt] is getting his way.
I’m not saying that I’ve thrown in the white towel; I just want Us Columbus Crew SC supporters to do better. I know we can #SaveTheCrew.
Now, kudos to the fans who showed up to support out in the cold. Takes massive guts to do that, even with Mother Nature working against ya’.
Here come stats
Last year, Columbus ranked 20th according to Soccer Stadium Digest.
Columbus averaged about 15k, giving them a total of 262,469 over their 17 home matches.
This year — although they are only five matches in, and March “doesn’t bring a lot of people,” — they are barely averaging 10k. When April hits, I expect more people will show up. But then again, “buying tickets, you’re supporting the ‘Snake.'”
It’s always a challenge for the front office when a particular team is looking for a new stadium (D.C. United and Audi Field), or possible relocation (Do I need to mention it again?). But it’s easy to see, Crew fans are staying away in droves.
When all is said and done, Anthony Precourt is getting his narrative, and Columbus fans are giving him visual proof as to why this team is [most likely] out the door.
To Columbus Crew SC staff and Players, I’m Sorry
To the staff of Columbus Crew SC and the players:
I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you guys aren’t getting the necessary support you deserve after a promising MLS Cup run last year, that ended up falling short.
To the Communications department: I’m sorry that you’re receiving all of the heat that you should not be getting.
I know I could get some flack for this, but it needed to be said.
Show up, and support.