Austin now has everything but their MLS team: They’ve got a name, Austin FC; they have a badge they wore to see Columbus Crew, their future team. But the leaders of this move are making this too hard.
The fine-tuned and approved contract to bring Columbus Crew SC to Austin, Texas needs to get signed. But that won’t be a problem for Austin City Council and Precourt Sports Ventures.
McKalla Place won acceptance as a spot for the future MLS team to play.
So why is there still fretting and worrying over getting the team moved from Columbus?
As a group of fans at the FC Dallas match explained to media, the City Council fought through their malaise and agreed a month ago. But they don’t recognize anything they can hang their hats on. They miss that state of MLS assurance.
Then there’s that court case hanging over the Austin proceedings. It’s like a Sword of Damocles.
A lawsuit blocking the Columbus Crew move invokes a 1996 Ohio law. This legislation prevents a taxpayer-supported team moving from the state without six-months notice plus offing team purchase to local investors.
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The Precourt side argues the law flies in the face of interstate commerce, specifically the dormant commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. They asked a judge to dismiss the suit. The judge’s decision is pending.
Until the lawsuit gets resolved, Columbus Crew SC stays put.
There remain two quick resolutions that, strangely, no one seems the least bit interested in taking.
The first and best quick resolution would be for Precourt Sports Ventures to satisfy the requirements of the Ohio sports team law.
This has two parts, both so simple that a van load of soccer kids could rapidly complete them.
First: Legally publish the notice that, after six months, Precourt Sports Ventures wants to move the team from Columbus to Austin pending MLS approval. And requirements of Ohio dictate that local investors get an opportunity to buy the team.
Second: Receive offers from local investors. We’ll assume for now that not one offer represents a ship coming into Precourt Sports Ventures.
The second, not-so-good resolution would involve both parties settling the lawsuit and dropping it. This seems more likely, only because the parties seem really hardheaded and committed to getting this in and getting this out of court the hard way.
The lawsuit got filed by state official running for governor.
That’s it. Ohio law satisfied. Hear that Austin? Precourt can move the team once those two little items get done.
Except for shanking those two easy soccer shots regarding the Ohio sports team law, MLS to Austin leaders have done okay so far.
No word on the temporary pitch. But interests have erupted to provide property to practice on. Nearby Round Rock and the Capital Area Youth Soccer Association jumped right up with 200 acres. Austin might get this team after all. But forget that court stuff. Just jump through a couple easy hoops. Get MLS approval. Then you’re set.