The announcement of the MLS Columbus Crew Soccer team possibly coming to Austin is not something the group "MLS Austin" group is taking lightly. The owner of the Columbus Crew was in town scouting out property earlier in the week and fans are optimistic Austin could be home to the team one day soon.
MLS Austin met Sunday night at Haymaker to talk about how they can continue its effort to bring a professional soccer team to Central Texas. The initiative started back in 2013 when a group of supporters organized to boost awareness and involvement around the idea of bringing a MLS franchise to Austin.
Earlier in the week, Anthony Precourt the Columbus Crew MLS Team Owner visited the city to scout possible locations for a new stadium. Precourt told FOX 7, if he moves the team to Austin, he wants to be located downtown. He also said he planned to use private money to build the soccer complex.
Precourt said staying in Columbus remains an option, however he is concerned the financial model there isn't working. Something MLS Austin said works in the city's favor.
Josh Babetski is the founder, "Where is Austin trending over the next 10 years is what is really interesting. We attract educated people, technology companies, big firms, all of the ingredients that makes big firms that makes soccer so attractive and is representative of some of the most appealing and highly attended markets that MLS already has like your Portland, Kansas City, Seattle's," he said.
Not everyone is happy about the prospect of the Columbus Crew jumping ship and possibly making Austin its home base. The manager of Haymaker said when the agreed to holding a watch party of Sunday’s Columbus Crew game people started attacking their Facebook page with several negative one star reviews.
They suspect they comments were left by disgruntled fans in Ohio.
Keith Sandel is the owner, "We are not trying to be at all snubbing their nose at all or trying to make sure that we’re trying to have joy in their sorrow that’s not the case at all. As a business owner we are caught in the middle of that with no good reason at all so we’re just here, we’re just happy that we could have an MLS team coming here, and that’s really the bottom line," he said.