Local business leaders committed to keeping Crew in Columbus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A group of Columbus business leaders remains committed to keeping Crew SC in the city.

“We’re disappointed,” said Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, hours after Crew leadership announced the possibility of moving the team to Texas. “It’s been an emotional 24 hours for all of us.”

The Columbus Partnership, a group of more than 60 area CEOs, first became aware of the Crew’s possible intention to leave, last month, according to Fischer.

The organization has since made two offers to purchase at least a share of the team

“We actually offered to entertain conversations of buying the entire team,” said Fischer.

The first offer was rejected, as was a second offer to join Anthony Precourt, team owner, in a 50/50 partnership.

“Our concept was, let’s partner with local investors, people who know this community best and help do everything we can to keep evolving and building soccer,” Fischer explained.

In a conference call with reporters, Precourt said he did not believe the offers were serious.

“I’ve never not made a serious offer on anything I’ve done in my professional life,” responded Fischer.

Precourt has stated he will agree to keep Crew SC in Columbus, if the city builds a new stadium.

According to Fischer, the team is eyeing possible locations in Franklinton, the Arena District and near Columbus State.

Despite Tuesday’s announcement, Fischer is hopeful the Columbus Partnership will find a way to keep the team local.

“We were serious then, and we’re serious now,” he said. “I rule absolutely nothing out.”

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