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Report: MLS offers Columbus opportunity to get into expansion race

It’s for a price.

The Save The Crew movement became an inspiring grassroots campaign that has evolved daily since news broke that Columbus Crew SC Investor-Operator Anthony Precourt and his ownership group were exploring the possibility of relocating the club to Austin, TX for the 2019 MLS season.

What began as a small movement of local supporters, quickly evolved into something massive when approximately 2,000 Black & Gold supporters held a rally on the steps of City Hall. Aided by business owners, local celebrities, and former players, the movement established legitimacy quickly in the soccer community.

What started as a local movement quickly evolved into a global campaign as cries from Columbus rang out for assistance.

On Nov. 26th, the Save The Crew campaign released a short video in which spokesman Morgan Hughes stated that Save The Crew would begin releasing videos to remain “communicative” and show people how they could get involved going forward as the group looked for an opportunity to better itself.

Hughes covered a variety of topics, but perhaps the biggest claim made in the video was that Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer offered the City of Columbus and opportunity to get into the expansion process for $5 million in a Nov. 15 meeting between ownership, the league and the Columbus Partnership.

According to Hughes, Columbus came to the bargaining table with multiple stadium sites, multiple co-investor opportunities and multiple buyout scenarios.

NBC4’s Dan Pearlman has confirmed that the league is offering to put the Crew into the expansion race if the team leaves.

What this means for the future of the Crew SC in Columbus is up for debate.

Editor Note: This article has been updated to reflect additional sourcing.