Stadium plan is the final piece of the puzzle for saving the Crew

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The deal to keep the Columbus Crew SC from leaving town is moving closer to completion.

On October 12, news emerged that the local Edwards family and Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam were on the verge of buying the team.

Alex Fischer, the President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership, has worked for much of the past year to stop the Crew’s potential relocation.

“We needed local ownership and we got local ownership,” Fischer said, of the Haslam and Edwards families.

All parties involved, including Major League Soccer, are working to finalize the purchase.

According to Fischer, that effort includes generating more corporate sponsorship, increasing the number of season ticket sales and creating a plan to build the team a new stadium.

“We’re looking at the urban core of the city, at multiple sites, and we want to make sure that we’re on a site that can not just serve the needs of a soccer stadium, but that can serve the broader needs of the community and the economic development agenda,” Fischer explained, while declining to name specific possible locations.

No timetable has been given as to when a deal could be complete, however Fischer said everyone involved is focused on moving forward as quickly as possible.

“This is a complex chessboard and you want to be making moves collectively with an eye toward winning,” he said.

Crew SC’s 2018 regular season is scheduled to conclude on Sunday.

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