COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Despite the possible move of Columbus Crew SC to Texas, the team says there will be no refunds to those with 2018 season tickets.
On Tuesday, the owner of the team, Anthony Precourt, announced that the MLS member may move to Austin if a new stadium isn’t built in Columbus.
Season ticketholder Kevin Longsworth drives 90 minutes to see his beloved Crew play at MAPFRE Stadium. He said Precourt “has basically pulled the wool over everybody’s eyes” but added he will continue to back the team.
“I’m still going to go in 2018 and support our players,” Longsworth said. “This is about the guys. The guys need our support. They have no control about what happens in the front office.”
Mayor Andy Ginther explained the city will not ask taxpayers to foot the bill.
“The city isn’t in to building a private, professional soccer stadium,” he said.
Several city and community leaders have indicated that they did not know about the team’s intentions to explore other possible home cities, until they heard or read about it from news outlets.
Like many Crew fans, Stefanie Olejniczak said she feels betrayed. Olejniczak is a die-hard fan, who applied and was selected to be a part of the club’s Membership Advisory Board earlier this year.
“I actually woke up with a feeling of grief,” she said.
Precourt Tweeted to fans on Thursday for the first time since the announcement.
“I really do feel for you Crew fans. Its an uncertain time I recognize, and I take full responsibility for the situation I have put us in,” he wrote, then amended: “Put you all in, not us.”
He continued, “The players and coaches and staff deseve (sic) your support as they make a run for an MLS Cup. They have nothing to do with ownership’s decisions.”