Crew Will Not Issue Refunds To '18 Season-Ticket Holders Amid Relocation Speculation
The Crew said that the team will "not issue a refund to season ticket holders" for '18 after Chair Anthony Precourt recently announced a possible move to Austin, according to the AP. Precourt has said that the team will "stay in Columbus" for '18, but its future beyond that is "unknown" (AP, 10/20). ESPN.com noted fans who did "not want to automatically renew their tickets had to opt out before Sept. 18" (ESPN.com, 10/19). In Columbus, Brian Hofmann notes Precourt took to Twitter to "empathize with fans in Columbus and ask them to support the team in the postseason." Precourt wrote, "I really do feel for you Crew fans. It's an uncertain time, I recognize, and I take full responsibility for the situation I have put us in." Hofmann notes Crew supporter groups have "organized a rally at City Hall at noon Sunday." The Crew will open the MLS Playoffs next week and Precourt wrote via Twitter, "The players and coaches and staff deserve your support as they make a run for an MLS Cup. They have nothing to do with ownership's decisions" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 10/20).
STATE OF THINGS: In Cincinnati, Steve Watkins wrote it is "unclear" whether the Crew's potential move to Austin helps USL club FC Cincinnati's efforts to join MLS. While a move for the Crew "frees up the Ohio market," it "hurts because it removes a potential natural rival." MLS Commissioner Don Garber "played up the rivalry aspect as a positive" when he visited Cincinnati last year. FC Cincinnati President & GM Jeff Berding "sidestepped the question." Berding said, "Our story is our story and our bid is our bid. I'm convinced if we stick to our plan and execute it, we'll be successful" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/19).