COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--Ohio Attorney general Mike DeWine has responded to the possible move to sue the Owner of Columbus Crew SC, if they decide to move to Austin, Texas in 2018.
DeWine, in a statement on Thursday, says, "The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has reviewed the law passed after the Browns’ move. We believe the evidence will show that this law would apply to the Columbus Crew and Mapfre Stadium. As Attorney General, should ownership of the Columbus Crew initiate a move of the team without complying with Ohio law, I am prepared to take the necessary legal action under this law to protect the interests of the State of Ohio and the central Ohio communities which have all invested to make the Columbus Crew a proud part of our Ohio sports tradition and help Mapfre Stadium earn its reputation as ‘Fortress Columbus.’”
State Representative Mike Duffey asked DeWine to look into the possibility of a lawsuit, citing the law that lays out certain requirements for sports teams in Ohio that use publicly-funded stadium for the home games.
The law was passed following the Cleveland Browns' move to Baltimore in 1995. It states that the team has to meet certain requirements, since it received public money for the upkeep of Mapfre Stadium.
Duffey cited the use of state money to improve the parking lot for the stadium, which the Crew asked for years ago.
Crew SC Owner Anthony Precourt is considering moving the team to Texas, and even recently released renderings of a possible new stadium for the team in Austin, should they make the move.