courtesy Gensler/MLS2ATX

Crew SC set to stay in Columbus; new franchise for Austin?

New buyer emerges to potentially keep MLS team in Ohio

October 12, 2018 - 5:41 pm

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- It looks like the Columbus Crew may be staying in Ohio after all.

Major League Soccer officials provided an update Friday afternoon, revealing a potential new ownership group to take control of the Columbus franchise and a plan to launch an expansion franchise in Austin. New to the table for the Columbus franchise are members of the Haslam family, owners of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. Jimmy Haslam is also the CEO of the Pilot/Flying J chain of truck stops.

"Major League Soccer and the Columbus Partnership have been working together for several months on a plan to keep Crew SC in Columbus and we have made significant progress," the league said in a statement. "Recently, the Haslam Family - along with the Columbus-based Edwards Family - have joined the effort to keep Crew SC in Columbus."

League officials also touched on Precourt Sports Ventures and the Austin FC club. "MLS also remains very committed to PSV’s plan to launch an MLS club in Austin and is excited for Austin to become a great addition to MLS. We will continue to work with PSV and the City of Austin on the timing around the launch of Austin FC." The league's statement continued, "Regardless of any scenario in Columbus, there is a clear path forward for PSV to operate Austin FC as a Major League Soccer club."

PSV reached an agreement in August to build a 20,000-seat stadium on city-owned land at McKalla Place in North Austin. That stadium is set to be ready for the 2021 MLS season.

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