Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Partnership president and CEO Alex Fischer are set to have sit-down meetings with Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt and Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, according to a Thursday morning post on Ginther’s Facebook page.
The post — a joint statement from Ginther and Fischer — indicated that there have been discussions with both Precourt and Garber, and both have agreed to in-person meetings, “and we expect those meetings to occur over the coming weeks,” according to the statement.
This comes after last week’s announcement by club owner Anthony Precourt that he is considering “strategic alternatives” that may involve moving the team to Austin, Texas.
Ginther’s Facebook post also lauded the #SaveTheCrew rally that occurred Sunday and reiterated the city’s interest in keeping the soccer club in Columbus.
The post also congratulated the team on a return to the playoffs, thanked fans for the “outpouring of support for the Black and Gold,” and said, “We appreciate all of the backers who recognize Columbus’ rightful place in the history of the MLS and U.S. soccer.”
Below is an embedded version of Ginther’s Facebook post, as well as the full text from the statement:
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, released the following statement:
“Congratulations to the Columbus Crew SC, our hometown team that’s getting ready to begin the playoffs. Your on-field performance is making Columbus prouder than ever, especially now.
“To Columbus Crew SC fans everywhere, we know this is a tough time. Thank you for your outpouring of support for the Black and Gold.
“Sunday’s rally says it all about our great city, players and fans. We are amazed at the encouragement we’ve received from you – and from Major League Soccer fans across the country – in support of Columbus and our efforts to keep Columbus Crew SC in our city. We appreciate all of the backers who recognize Columbus’ rightful place in the history of the MLS and U.S. soccer.
“We are resolved to do our part to keep the Columbus Crew SC in Columbus. Over the weekend, we made contact with Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt and MLS Commissioner Don Garber. We reiterated our views to each very directly and have requested in-person meetings with both to discuss options for keeping the team in Columbus. They have agreed, and we expect those meetings to occur over the coming weeks.
“Until those meetings take place, we don’t expect to have anything new to report. We will keep our public comments focused on cheering on our beloved Columbus Crew SC during the playoffs.
“Thank you, soccer fans. Glory to Columbus.”