Mike DeWine threatens legal action to keep Crew SC in Columbus

FILE - In this Oct. 31, 2017 file photo, Columbus Crew fans show their support for the team before the start of their MLS Eastern Conference semifinal soccer match against New York City FC, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Thursday that he is ‘prepared to take the necessary legal action’ to keep the Columbus Crew SC in Ohio.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, DeWine said:

Ohioans are very loyal fans who passionately support our teams and take great civic pride in their accomplishments. Our teams are a part of our communities. That is why when ownership moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore in 1995, the Ohio General Assembly took action and passed a law to protect Ohio and its communities when they provide tax-funded support for professional teams’ stadiums. As a United States Senator, I, along with Senator John Glenn and Congressman Louis Stokes, introduced similar legislation in Congress.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has reviewed the law passed after the Browns’ move. We believe the evidence will show that this law would apply to the Columbus Crew and Mapfre Stadium. As Attorney General, should ownership of the Columbus Crew initiate a move of the team without complying with Ohio law, I am prepared to take the necessary legal action under this law to protect the interests of the State of Ohio and the central Ohio communities which have all invested to make the Columbus Crew a proud part of our Ohio sports tradition and help Mapfre Stadium earn its reputation as ‘Fortress Columbus.’”

The legal threat came the same day Precourt Sports Ventures released renderings of a possible Downtown Austin stadium.

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