Crew To Move To Austin Barring New Downtown Stadium

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The team now plays at MAPFRE Stadium, which was the first soccer-specific stadium opened in the MLS in 1999.

Precourt Sports Ventures LLC, which bought the Columbus, Ohio-based club in 2013, is evaluating the long-term viability of keeping the club in Columbus at a new stadium or relocating to Austin.

Anthony Precourt, the CEO of Precourt Sports Ventures and the chairman of the Crew SC, has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday. "This includes a possible move to Austin, which is the largest metropolitan area in North America without a major league sports franchise".

BREAKING: Statement from @MayorAdler on reports of Columbus Crew considering move to Austin @KVUE.

"As attendance League-wide continues to grow on a record-setting pace, and markets across the country seek to join MLS, Columbus' situation is particularly concerning", said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

However, reports say MLS already has trademarks for team names in Austin.

While Precourt did not confirm a date for the move, he did admit the team is looking at relocation options, with Austin featuring heavily in his released statement.

"The stadium site itself is of paramount importance and we recognize that private funding will be key in any stadium solution", Precourt said.

The group reportedly is close to a deal with the University of Texas at Austin to host games there in 2019 and 2020 at Mike Myers Stadium, where the women's team plays, before beginning play in 2021 in a new stadium.

Multiple media outlets report the latest development comes after Precourt rejected a plan by local business leaders to buy part or all of the team. According to massivereport.com, the Crew has a 25-year lease to play in the stadium, that won't expire until 2023. MAPFRE Stadium opened in 1999. A USL team was planned for Austin in 2019, but the future of that seems to be unknown if the Crew does indeed move there.

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