Plan in Progress to Keep Crew SC in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--There is a plan in place to keep the Crew in Columbus.

Plans released Friday indicate that Cleveland Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam is in negotiations with Major League Soccer, and a local investor, to purchase the team from current Owner Anthony Precourt, which would keep the team in Columbus.

A statement released by the Browns Friday, credited to Jimmy and Dee Haslam, reads, "We value and appreciate the benefits a professional sports franchise can bring to a community and we are hopeful to be part of the solution to keep the Crew in Columbus...We look forward to seeing how this process evolves."

Last year, news broke that Precourt was considering moving the team to Austin, Texas, beginning in 2019. Earlier this year, Austin City Council approved a measure to begin negotiations for Precourt to construct a soccer-specific stadium on city-owned property.

Precourt had indicated that a new downtown stadium for the Crew would be needed to keep the team in Columbus, but rejected all offers from the city for property. The statement from Haslam Friday indicates that he would, "invest in strong infrastructure for the Crew."

Reports also say that Precourt would then be awarded an expansion team in Austin.