COLUMBUS (WCMH)– Save the Crew had already planned a one year anniversary get-together to celebrate all the hard work that had been done to try to keep Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt from moving the team to Texas. Then came word ten days ago that a tentative agreement had been reached for new owners and a plan to keep the club in Columbus.
So, Sunday’s anniversary became more of a celebration that all that hard work had paid off.
Save the Crew spokesman David Miller said they knew they had momentum and were always confident. “We believe that our efforts definitely made a huge difference in keeping the Crew in Columbus and, in coordination with the business community and also the elected leaders of Columbus, we’ve all worked together in sync to keep the Crew in Columbus,” Miller said.
Save the Crew gathered more than 12,000 season ticket pledges for next year along with commitments of support from close to 400 local businesses.
Volunteers say believe their efforts over the past year will make support for the team stronger for years to come. “We were done and in the waters. But the last year we’ve debunked so many false narratives from this ownership… people really started to get on board and realize, wow, Columbus isn’t really being treated fairly,” said volunteer Peter Shehata.
Dr. Pete Edwards told several hundred fans at the Sunday celebration that the whole soccer world heard their message. Edwards is part of an investor group that includes other Edward’s family members and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam that has offered to buy the Columbus Crew. “We believe this is your team,” Edwards said. “We believe the team belongs to the community supporters and the fans and our hope is that we can be the best stewards of this team going forward.”
Edwards said they are “close” to finalizing the deal adding that he believes it will get done in the next couple of months.