With the announcement that Cincinnati will receive the newest Major League Soccer expansion team, some were left to wonder how a new team so close to Columbus would impact Crew SC.
As it turns out, many view this as a positive for Columbus and a potential new rivalry.
“I think that if anything, the addition of a Cincinnati team would make Columbus an even more attractive and valuable market,” said John Zidar, a long time Crew fan. “I’m looking forward to going down there, and I’m looking forward to my friends coming up here.”
Last October, Crew owner Anthony Precourt announced intentions to explore the option of moving the team to Austin, Texas, after this season.
Since then, city leaders and the Columbus Partnership have tried to stop the move.
Alex Fischer, Columbus Partnership CEO, said the addition of a team in Cincinnati is good for both cities and the league.
“We’ve had this conversation directly with the league, and Major League Soccer is excited about having two teams in close proximity for regional rivalries,” he said. “They’ve seen it in other places like Seattle, where they get Seattle and Portland playing each other, so this is a positive development in terms of having a regional rivalry in the midwest that’s driving fans from both cities to travel, spend money in each city and fill up stadiums in each city.”
Fischer would not speculate on when to expect a decision on Crews SC’s future.
“I’m more encouraged today than I was six months ago when the news initially came out,” he said.
Cincinnati’s new team will begin playing in 2019.