Precourt, MLS commissioner suggested Columbus apply for expansion team, source says

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Less than two weeks after a meeting between Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, Columbus Crew SC Owner Anthony Precourt, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer ended in a stalemate, new details are emerging on what was discussed regarding the future of professional soccer.

According to a source close to the negotiations, Garber and Precourt informed Ginther and Fisher that Columbus could apply for an MLS expansion team if the Crew leaves Columbus.

While the expansion fee for a new Columbus-based team remains unclear, a press release states the fee for the league’s two newest teams is $150 million.

The idea of bringing an expansion team to Columbus is not sitting with the leaders of the Save The Crew movement.

“The notion that we would, as a city, have to apply for an expansion franchise when we already have a team, have had a team and have supported this league for 23 years, to me personally is absurd,” said Morgan Hughes. “It sets a bad precedent.”

A spokesman with the Crew referred NBC4 to the league office for comment, on this report. The league declined an opportunity to comment.

On November 15, the parties involved met in New York City.

Mayor Ginther and Fischer issued a joint statement at the meeting’s conclusion, stating they were ‘disappointed and frustrated’ with the results.

Additionally, Precourt Sports Ventures stated, in part, they were ‘disappointed.’

No plans for a second meeting have been made public.

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