Austin City Council member visits Columbus ahead of stadium vote

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A city council vote more than a thousand miles away could decide the fate of the Columbus Crew Wednesday.

One of the Austin City Council members who will be voting says she doesn’t want to take the team away from Columbus.

Council member Leslie Pool came to Columbus on her own dime. She toured the city and met with the Crew faithful, members of #SaveTheCrew.

“I’m really really glad I came up,” said Pool. “It was important to me to understand and gauge the effects of this proposal on the people at both ends.”

She says she heard the stories about what this team means to them.

Wednesday, Pool and the rest of the council in Austin will meet again. They are expected to vote on measures which could pave the way for the Crew to leave.

Pool says she opposes those measures.

“We should grow our own team. We shouldn’t take one from another city especially one that has been part of the fabric of that community for more than 20 years,” said Pool.

Pool says while she was in Columbus, she also got a look at the infrastructure in place to handle the traffic coming in and out of the stadium for games. She said she doesn’t feel Austin is prepared to handle the traffic in the same way as Columbus.

The Austin City Council will start the special meeting on the MLS stadium at 9am local time Wednesday. A vote is expected by 11:30am However, Pool says she plans to pitch scrapping the stadium deal and starting from scratch on a plan for pro sports in Austin.

Before the council decided to postpone the vote during last week’s meeting, Pool said if a deal doesn’t happen “it is because [team owner Anthony] Precourt has done a very poor job of trying to negotiate and convince city leadership that he should be here at all.”

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