COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- The Columbus Crew have a new owner. Precourt Sports Ventures has acquired the operating rights to the Crew.

Hunt Sports Group has operated the Crew, a charter member of Major League Soccer, since 1996. The deal takes effect immediately.

"Our intent is to come in and have it be status quo here for a while and just assess the situation, learn, ask a lot of questions, and by season end we'll start to build our business plan for the following year and probably make some changes," said Anthony Precourt, the Crew's new chairman.

He says the Crew will remain in Columbus.

"We're very committed to that and very excited to be here," Precourt said.

Precourt plans to talk with some of the biggest companies in Columbus to gain more corporate sponsorships of the team. He says that's vital for the Crew. He also says they're talking about naming rights for the stadium.

Precourt's main business is in investment management services anad private equity investing, mainly in the energy sector.

A native of Denver, Precourt and his family live in the San Francisco area, but he says he plans to spent a lot of time in Columbus now.

Hunt Sports Group will continue its active role in Major League Soccer as investor-operator of FC Dallas.