Crew Sale Would Fit Long Term Trends

Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE

MLS wants one team per ownership group. Hunt Sports Group wants to get there, just the right way.

It's not really a surprise that Hunt Sports Group is looking to sell at least one of their MLS franchises. It's not much of a stretch to think it was going to be the Crew. The news, a line Don Garber snuck into the last bits of a 9 minute interview, was a shock none the less. HSG has owned the team since it's inception in 1994. The Hunts are the Crew and the prospect of them selling, even sometime in the future, was sure to send shockwaves.

In the times I've talked to Clark and Dan Hunt they reiterated their commitment to the city of Columbus. The Hunts commitment to the city is apparent. Lamar Hunt, facing a crossroads, took the plunge in 1998 and built Columbus Crew Stadium. It was the first of it's kind and still the home to some of U.S. Soccer's biggest games. Garber mentioned that thr Hunts have spent over 100 million dollars since the league's inception on soccer in central Ohio.

HSG once owned three teams in the league, the Crew, F.C. Dallas, and the then Kansas City Wizards. Kansas City was run as an afterthought even though it was in the same city as the Hunt's beloved NFL franchise, the Chiefs. With the auspices of the league, HSG looked to slim down their portfolio and sold the Wizards to OnGoal LLC, a local consortium in 2006. OnGoal has invested in a new stadium, LiveStrong Park, and cemented the team's place in the city.

Recently, the Crew has pushed to expand ties with the city and it's leaders. The Dare to Be Massive and Goal 10K campaigns have established a lot of positive press coverage and has spurred more local sponsorship and ticket dollars into the team. Attendance is up over a couple of soft years even as the team fights for playoff position.

All signs currently point to the Hunts doing everything they can to keep the team in Columbus. Local partners have been hard to find over the life of the team, but HSG has shown they can be patient to find the right buyers. They have also shown considerable loyalty and faith in Columbus, Dallas, and Kansas City, even as the teams went through struggles.

The Dispatch's Adam Jardy has dug into the story and tweeted:

There is zero talk of selling to anyone who has the intention of moving the Crew from Columbus

THat's exactly what I expected out of HSG. There doesn't appear to be a sale on the horizon, but today's comments make it clear, the Hunts are bullish on the prospects of soccer in Columbus; it just may not include them.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Massive Report

You must be a member of Massive Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Massive Report. You should read them.

Join Massive Report

You must be a member of Massive Report to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Massive Report. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker