Columbus Crew SC MLS team might move to Texas, reports say
18 October, 2017, 00:49 | Author: Joan Malone
"This club has ambition to be a standard bearer in MLS, therefore we have no choice but to expand and explore all of our options", Precourt said. "The League is very reluctant to allow teams to relocate, but based on these factors, we support PSV's efforts to explore options outside of Columbus, including Austin, provided they find a suitable stadium location". Now, Austin might score its first major league sports team: a Major League Soccer franchise currently located in Columbus, Ohio.
Earlier this year, Major League Soccer registered "Austin FC" and "Austin Athletic" as trademarks of the league.
While this news seems like the city's best chance to land a franchise in one of the five major sports leagues (Austin is the largest metro area in North America without one), local soccer fans should not run out to start buying Austin Crew kits just yet.
"Despite our investments and efforts, the current course is not sustainable", said Anthony Precourt, chief executive officer of Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) and chairman of the Columbus Crew, in a prepared statement. "There is a lot of benefit that being in Austin would give a team, too, though not public funding of a stadium".
MLS Commissioner Don Garber expressed support for the possible move to Austin in a statement.
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Precourt also said any move to Austin has a MLS-approved stadium plan as a prerequisite.
The newspaper, citing a source, said that the deal to host games at the University of Texas is "all but done" for 2019.
A 5,000-seat stadium is under construction at the Circuit of the Americas, but it'll be the new home of the minor league soccer team formerly known as the Austin Aztex.
And even if the Columbus doesn't approve a new downtown stadium for the Crew, what are the chances that Austin does?
However with other leading clubs in the MLS regularly drawing crowds of more than 30,000, Columbus are now eyeing a move to another city. It won the MLS Cup in 2008 and the Supporters Shield three times (for the best regular season record). Currently, Austin is not on the list of 12 US cities in the running for MLS expansion teams, though that list does include San Antonio.
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