Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2017

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17 minutes ago, ninersdd said:

 

http://www.dispatch.com/sports/20171016/crew-sc-owner-considering-moving-team-to-austin-texas

 

Excerpt:

Quote

Local sources on Monday told The Dispatch that Precourt is frustrated with the Crew’s declining revenues and poor attendance figures and is strongly considering a franchise move to Austin. Earlier this year, Major League Soccer registered “Austin FC” and “Austin Athletic” as trademarks of the league.

 

One source close to the team said a deal to host home games at the University of Texas is “all but done” for 2019. The source also said Precourt paid $68 million – above market value – for the team in 2013 because he entertained plans to move it. Another source said plans for a “pristine, waterfront development” in Austin is gaining impetus.

 

A consortium of Columbus businessmen have been trying to work with Precourt to find a local solution. They have scouted locations for a potential Downtown stadium and made offers to purchase all or part of the franchise. Precourt has demurred.

 

Precourt, under the aegis of Precourt Sports Management, bought the Crew from its original owners, Hunt Sports Group. The purchase agreement contained a promise to keep the team in Columbus for at least 10 years; it also included an escape clause in the case Precourt wanted to move it to Austin.

 

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Ooh. That's some cold :censored:. Columbus has meant so much to American soccer. That would be a really sad end to a cornerstone franchise.

 

At the same time, MLS 1.0 franchises do need to upgrade their infrastructure. But also, the public need not pay for it.

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I hope that they can work something out, Columbus has shown they can support soccer since the beginning of the league. 

 

Also, in terms of expansion, Austin didn't even put in a bid, right? This absolutely kills San Antonio's shot, because they don't want to saturate Texas. Cincinnati, on the other hand, looks like a very real possibility should they get their stadium situation in check.

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This could very well mean that Cincy is a virtual lock for that second spot with Sacramento in 2020. 

 

That'll be a pretty big blow from an historical standpoint, but honestly it's not much of a loss if Cincinnati FC is the consolation prize IMO. 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Bucfan56 said:

This could very well mean that Cincy is a virtual lock for that second spot with Sacramento in 2020. 

 

That'll be a pretty big blow from an historical standpoint, but honestly it's not much of a loss if Cincinnati FC is the consolation prize IMO. 

 

 

Yeah but we'll lose out on what would've been a killer rivalry that would've really helped the Crew. 

 

I've had issues with Crew fans in the past, but this is really :censored:ty news.

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The Crew:  It's hard to compete in a market you share with a major NCAA Division I power institution.

 

Also the Crew: We're moving to Austin, Texas.

 

Seriously though, what the everloving :censored: guys?  I thought the Crew had a reasonably modern SSS, there's no reason to build another one when the current one is less than 20 years old.

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I've been curious how an Austin MLS franchise would work out, but I wouldn't want it to come at the expense of a team like Columbus. I remember seeing that Austin was one of the cities with the highest viewership for some World Cup match. I also remember Denver being one of those cities, but the Rapids have been pretty blah, so who knows what that really means.  

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5 hours ago, rams80 said:

Seriously though, what the everloving :censored: guys?  I thought the Crew had a reasonably modern SSS, there's no reason to build another one when the current one is less than 20 years old.

 

Well, there might be.  My understanding is that the Crew’s stadium was built on the cheap. Very cheap.  It was the first soccer-specific stadium, built bare-bones as an experiment to see how SSS would work.  It’s not like Turner Field. 

 

So maybe it should be replaced. But that doesn’t mean the city should pay a single dime for that replacement. 

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Crew Stadium sorry Mapfre Stadium is the world's largest High School Football stadium. It's an erector set, but it's still a nice venue to watch a game and has meant a lot to Team USA women and men over the years. I have a feeling, however, even if it were the nicest SSS in the league this Precourt guy wouldn't care. He's making outlandish demands because he knows the city won't grant them and then it gives him a handful of excuses so he can Spanos the team to Austin. 

 

Really sucks because Columbus survived the league's super bush early bad times and just when things are really starting to take off they're not going to be included to enjoy the reward. 

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The punch line is that Austin already said last night they aren't paying for a stadium with public money either.

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There are also reports that local Columbus businesspersons approached Precourt with an offer to buy the club but were rebuffed.

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As a resident of Columbus, I don't want any of our city leaders to give into this scum of an owner. He knows exactly how to get the team to leave, and I'd rather us be like San Diego and not give in, than give in and pay a crap ton of taxes. It would take way too long to explain how I ultimately feel on this, but in a nutshell, if they leave, they leave.

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Going back to Hunt Group ownership (2008 specifically), the Crew have also been off/on looking for a new training facility in the area as well.  In addition, in recent years (2014-16) Columbus civic leaders tried to lure the Browns training camp to town which was going to bring upgrades in and around Mapfre Stadium. The Browns never came.

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This would be a tragedy imo, Columbus has always been at the heartbeat of US Soccer/MLS.  They don't deserve this.

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