Reports: Columbus Crew consider move to Austin barring stadium deal

The MLS' Crew are considering relocating to Austin, Texas, unless the city of Columbus can devise a plan for a new downtown stadium, multiple outlets reported. 

Anthony Precourt, the CEO of Precourt Sports Ventures and the chairman of the Crew SC, has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday. Precourt plans to explore plans toward a new stadium in the Columbus and Austin markets, according to 

The Crew's attendance at MAPFRE Stadium ranks 20th out of 22 MLS teams with one week remaining in the regular season. MAPFRE Stadium opened in 1999. 

Precourt purchased the Crew from Hunt Sports Group in 2013. According to the Columbus Dispatch, the purchase agreement contained a promise to have the team remain in Columbus for at least 10 years, but it also included an out clause in case Precourt wanted to move the team to Austin. 

The newspaper, citing a source, said that the deal to host games at the University of Texas is "all but done" for 2019. 

"We met with ownership a month ago to discuss their stadium study and plans and ideas for a new stadium in Columbus," Alex Fischer, the president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership -- a group of 60 city business leaders and CEOs, told "Those conversations turned up the fact that ownership had been in extensive conversations over the last number of months with leaders in Austin about a possible new stadium and moving the team there." 

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