The hits keep coming for Precourt Sports Ventures and Anthony Precourt’s bid to move Columbus Crew SC to Austin, Texas. A three-judge panel for the Tenth District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio unanimously dismissed PSV and MLS’s appeal of Judge Brown’s May 8, 2018 order that tolled the notice period under Ohio Revised Code 9.67 and inserted the court into the process of fielding offers for Crew SC.
Today’s dismissal comes on the heels of yesterday’s press release by Austin City Council Member Leslie Pool, suggesting that an open bidding process was necessary to get the most value out of McKalla Place — the Austin site PSV is hoping to build its MLS team’s stadium — and PSV lobbyist Richard Suttle’s rebuttal that PSV might shift it’s gaze to other cities. Here is a look at the full dismissal.
As pointed out in the decision, the main contention of PSV and MLS’s appeal was that Judge Brown’s order to toll the notice period constitutes an injunction, which would be a final order that can be appealed. The Court had none of this, agreeing with the State’s claim that the order was not final and was therefore not able to be appealed.
While this was the expected resolution to the appeal, it still represents positive momentum for the quest to keep Crew SC in Columbus. The Ohio court system could actually keep the team from leaving to another city, unlike the happenings in Austin.
So what’s next? PSV and MLS could appeal this dismissal to the Ohio Supreme Court or try to get the case moved to federal court. Neither of those options are ideal and would further delay any potential move. Otherwise, PSV and MLS must begin to compy with Judge Brown’s May 8, 2018 order. It is unclear whether Judge Brown’s ruling has been put on hold, but that will be up to the judge and the parties in the suit to determine.
Ohio and Columbus have already submitted their proposed non-disclosure agreements, as required under Judge Brown’s initial order, and now we will wait for PSV and MLS to submit theirs and begin to fully comply with the order.