By Hilary // @hils4crew
I have held on writing this article because I’ve been processing and crying and then processing and crying, and then processing and gearing up to fight.
Leaked early by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl late Monday night and announced by Anthony Precourt on Tuesday, Precourt is looking at “possibly” moving the team to Austin, Texas after the Crew’s 2018 season if a downtown stadium can not be built in Columbus. I say “possibly” because everything Precourt has done screams that he has no intention of keeping the Crew in Columbus, no matter what the city does to appease his demands.
Precourt didn’t even make the announcement in Columbus, leaving the players and coaches to deal with the media alone after just finding out about this Tuesday morning. He’s flown to Austin to meet with city leadership. Our mayor has stated that while they have discussed some options, the ownership of the team has not really been fully engaged.
He has ignored an offer by local Columbus partners to invest and become 50% owners. It’s been rumored that these local investors offered $75 million for a 50% share in the team, which is more than he paid when he purchased the team. There’s a huge trail of clues that this has been Precourt’s intention for some time.
I don’t know if Precourt thought we would roll over and let this happen. This is just an illustration of how out of touch Precourt is with the fans of the team he owns and the city where it is located. Immediately, cries of #savethecrew spead across twitter and the rest of the internet.
Then, it went beyond just Crew fans. It has spread across the league, and then to other leagues, and then continued to spread even further. They all realize that Columbus is an important part of MLS history as one of the original teams. They all realize that if the MLS allows this to happen, then no team is safe. They all know how it feels to really love a soccer team. They know how much it would hurt to lose it. So they are supporting the fans of the Crew.
They are doing things like changing their own teams’ badges to black and gold, tweeting and writing owners about how bad this decision would be, volunteering to hang banners in their own stadiums. We, as a soccer community are united and it brought, and continues to bring, tears to my eyes. How we all realize these things, and Anthony Precourt doesn’t, is beyond me.
So, how can you help?
If you are in or can get to Columbus this Sunday, October 22nd, attend the rally at Columbus’s City Hall at noon.
If you are in Columbus or not, you can still help.
- Contact the cooperate sponsors of the Crew and let them know how you feel about this.
- Contact other MLS teams encouraging them to not allow this to happen.
- Sign the petition to save the Crew.
- Tweet about saving the Crew.
- Bring banners about this and wear yellow to your teams’ matches.
- Do not let them forget this after a few days. Keep doing these things.
All the information about all those activities (including the petition) can be found at savethecrew.com including email template letters to the corporate sponsors of the Crew and to the MLS teams (along with contact information).
In many ways, the Crew has saved me with the community and family it has provided to me. So, it is time for us to Save the Crew. Please help us do it. #savethecrew
Featured image courtesy: @zvchlilly
Follow and chat with me on twitter // @hils4crew
Check us out on instagram @mlsfemale