#SaveTheCrew

December 15, 2017

On June 15, 1994, the Columbus Crew was born and was introduced as the first of 10 inaugural Major League Soccer clubs. About five years later, the Crew broke ground in making the Crew Stadium, the country’s first major-league stadium built specifically for soccer. Now, the Crew, one of MLS’s original teams, is looking to move its franchise to Austin, Texas or build a new stadium in downtown Columbus due to the uptick in season tickets the corporate partnerships and current stadium is just so small, according to mlssoccer.com.

Austin officials are looking for city-owned land that could possibly accommodate a stadium if the team does, indeed, move to Austin. Precourt Sport Ventures, the company that has owned the Crew franchise since 2013, could establish a training facility around the area that could host youth soccer games and any other events.

With the Crew being stationed in Columbus for 20 plus years, one would think it would be hard to just pick everything up and move. Precourt Sports Ventures, should be set on building a new stadium solely for their loyal fans who have been supporting them for more than two decades.

“This club has ambition to be a standard bearer in MLS. Therefore, we have no choice but to expand and explore all our options. This includes a possible move to Austin, which is the largest metropolitan area in North America without a major league sports franchise. Soccer is the world’s game, and with Austin’s growing presence as an international city, MLS in Austin could be an ideal fit,” Precourt Sports Ventures said.

Since the attendance leaguewide continues to significantly grow at a record-setting pace and markets across the country seek to join the MLS, the Crew may have no other option than to move to Austin. Even though the league is very reluctant to allow teams to relocate, the MLS supports Precourt’s efforts in exploring other options.

Academy player for the Crew and senior Griffin DeBolt, thinks they should stay here in Columbus because they were one of the original teams when the MLS started. He said that the city and the club have done so much for the league and that he has been apart of the Crew since he was 1 because his dad had worked for them for 11 years.

I feel as though that Precourt is only looking out for itself and what can make them the most money. They need to be making decisions on what will best suit the team, and most of all, the fans.

There are two MLS teams stationed in Texas, FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo, so that state cannot support another MLS team. If the Crew was to leave Columbus, Ohio would be left with no other professional soccer team.

“With all the history, there’s a sense of inevitability to the Crew’s story. The Crew fans will protest; MLS fans everywhere will join in. The City of Columbus won’t and shouldn’t give in, and in all likelihood, the move to Austin was finished before the fans even knew about it,” according to the Columbus Crew Sportblog.

In my opinion, the Crew should not move to Austin, Texas. I feel that Precourt is only considering money and how they can grow as a company. They need to be influencing their decisions off of the fans and ways that will benefit the team, which is staying here in Columbus.

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