While the Columbus Crew beat New York City FC and stands 180 minutes from what would be its second MLS Cup Final in three years, the predators are lurking from afar.
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While expansion hopeful San Antonio has ripped into Major League Soccer for the idea of Columbus coming to Austin, the Texan capital is angling for the Crew to come build a stadium in town.
Here’s Austin mayor pro tem Kathie Tovo, from Columbus Business First:
“It’s a neat opportunity. A great opportunity for Austin,” Tovo said. “There seems to be lots of support. I’m intrigued. My staff is doing research about benefits to the community” including programs for youth. “It’s exciting to me.”
Meanwhile in Columbus, Mayor Andrew Ginther and Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer have a meeting scheduled for next Wednesday in New York with Major League Soccer officials to try to keep the Crew in town.
Who is sent to and what comes out of that meeting is more interesting than anything from the Texas side of things. Who will be meeting with Columbus officials, and what will they ask or demand of Columbus in order to become an advocate for their original MLS member?
Perhaps the worst thing that could happen for MLS and Crew owner Anthony Precourt, oddly enough, would be the Crew advancing to and winning MLS Cup Final (though its fans would deserve it and how). It would put this unsavory situation front and center for even longer, and no league wants to have its sitting champion dealing with tiny attendances for a summer before it leaves town.