On Wednesday, Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt along with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber met with Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, and Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther to discuss the potential move of Columbus Crew SC to Austin, TX.
Precourt announced this possibility last month, but left the door open to remain in Columbus if a downtown stadium could be built.
Fischer and Ginther have been on a mission as part of the Save the Crew movement to keep the team in its original home and the hope was that this meeting would be the next step in this process.
Following the meeting, Fischer and Ginther released the following statement:
Precourt Sports Venture released its own statement approximately 30 minutes later.
“Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer met this afternoon in New York City with Mayor Ginther and Alex Fischer, at the request of the city, in anticipation of being presented an actionable plan and a legitimate offer that would advance efforts to improve Crew SC’s long-term ability to operate and compete in Columbus. Both PSV and the league entered the meeting with open minds, no demands and a complete willingness to listen and entertain concrete ideas or a meaningful proposal from the city’s representatives at the meeting.
We were extremely disappointed that no concrete offer or proposal was presented and that the City of Columbus then told us that it would not communicate with us past today.
Precourt Sports Ventures made a clear commitment to Columbus four years ago by purchasing 100 percent of Columbus Crew SC. In the meantime, despite successful efforts to reinvent the brand and improve the Club, market challenges for Crew SC in Columbus continue to mount.
Despite the city’s refusal to make a real offer and its decision to cease conversations, we remain open to a productive dialogue if the City of Columbus reconsiders. Columbus Crew SC remains focused on our quest to win MLS Cup.”
This news is a blow to those hopeful that Crew SC, who is set to host the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final next Tuesday, will remain in Columbus beyond 2018.