The fight to keep the Columbus Crew SC in Columbus continued this week.
On Friday, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther published an open letter to Crew SC owner, Anthony Precourt. Ginther’s letter was in response to another letter his office received from Precourt and the general counsel for Major League Soccer last month.
In the letter, Ginther addresses the ongoing lawsuit filed by Ohio’s attorney general and the city of Columbus to stop the team’s proposed move to Austin, Texas and says that the city remains open to a constructive conversation with Precourt and MLS.
Here is the letter in its entirety:
“Dear Mr. Precourt:
This communication is in response to a letter received by my office, dated March 16, 2018, and signed by you and the general counsel for Major League Soccer (MLS). Your letter was in reference to Ohio Revised Code Section 9.67 and the lawsuit recently filed against you by the City of Columbus and the State of Ohio.
Despite arguments made in your letter, the City believes ORC 9.67 applies to “PSV Entities” and MLS. The City also rejects any contention that we have received notice that the Columbus Crew SC will cease playing most of its home games at MAPFRE Stadium. These points notwithstanding, and while we reserve any and all rights and remedies available to us through litigation, we remain open to constructive conversation to keep the Crew SC in Columbus.
Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer has been in contact with prospective purchasers who have the necessary bona fides to operate an MLS franchise and are able to make a reasonable offer to purchase the team. In addition, Mr. Fischer has identified multiple potential downtown stadium locations that may be suitable for a new soccer stadium. However, the ability to pursue these efforts requires access to information held by PSV Entities and MLS.
We respectfully request that you make arrangements for Mr. Fischer and any and all prospective buyers to inspect the financial records of the PSV Entities and MLS as necessary. We look forward to the prospective purchasers providing you a concrete offer(s) once they are able to complete a thorough valuation of the team.
Again, this letter does not in any way waive any right or remedy available to the City in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. Further, we request that any communication specific to the lawsuit filed against you be directed to legal counsel for the City, the Columbus City Attorney and the Ohio Attorney General.
We remain committed to constructive conversations with you and representatives of MLS, and appreciate your continued willingness to consider offers to sell the team and keep Columbus Crew SC in Columbus.
Mayor Andrew J. Ginther”