It is 2019 and fans of Columbus Crew SC can, right now, buy season tickets to watch Crew SC play home games at MAPFRE Stadium. Just one year ago that sentence seemed like an impossible dream or a disastrous lame-duck season but today that impossible dream became a reality.
The Black & Gold’s season ticket announcement capped of an afternoon flurry of team news, with assistant coaches Josh Wolff and Nico Estevez leaving the club to join former head coach Gregg Berhalter with the U.S. Men’s National Team and Caleb Porter named head coach and Tim Bezbatchenko as team president.
“Crew SC is set to offer an eight-month payment option on all full Season Memberships along with potential Crew SC-hosted 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round, Round of 16 and Quarterfinal matches,” the press release reads. “Supporters also have exclusive benefits and team access, headlined by the Membership Community program that allows supporters to select a membership group (business, family or social) and then receive specifically tailored membership events.”
“Other benefits throughout the year include auto-renewal, access to exclusive meet-the-team events such as Crew SC Fest; a dedicated Membership Team; discounted parking and member pricing on additional single-match tickets; access to Crew SC’s ticket exchange program and promotional add-ons; a discount at the Crew SC Shop; and purchase priority for potential MLS Cup Playoff matches and other MAPFRE Stadium events.”
This announcement comes after over a year of turmoil which finally officially came to an end last week. Last October, investor-operator Anthony Precourt announced he was planning to move Crew SC from Columbus to Austin, Texas if he did not get a downtown stadium. He cited a lack of community support and business metrics — most of which were disproven by fans shortly after — and began his exit strategy.
But shortly after, the Save The Crew movement began with a group of fans who didn’t want to see their team moved. From their efforts came and show of support not just by other fans but by the Columbus community as a whole. The Columbus Partnership got on board, a lawsuit was filed against Precourt Sports Ventures and eventually a new group of Pete Edwards and Dee and Jimmy Haslam stepped in to purchase the investor-operator rights of a team in Columbus that will keep the history of Crew SC.
Taking over on Jan. 1, today’s announcements of the hiring of Porter and Bezbatchenko as well as the sale of season tickets is a hammering home of the once pipe dream that the Black & Gold will play in Columbus in 2019.
During the end of summer in 2018, current season ticket holders were informed of the upcoming auto-renewal of tickets and were provided with both a window to opt out of auto-renewal for 2019 and a guarantee that auto-renewals would be fully refunded should Crew SC not play in Columbus in 2019. Many season ticket holders instead joined the Save The Crew season ticket pledge, which secured more than 12,000 pledges for 2019 season tickets. Save The Crew delivered those pledges to the new Black & Gold front office yesterday.
Hot off the presses! Go read our latest press release: Save The Crew Transfers Season Ticket Pledge Information to Columbus Crew Front Officehttps://t.co/aaK18RbGU9— Save The Crew (@Save_The_Crew) January 3, 2019
With ticket prices consistent with 2018 levels and a record number of potential season ticket members committing to Save The Crew’s pledge, this season could be one of the highest attended seasons in recent Crew SC history.