Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam have saved the Columbus Crew from moving to Austin, Texas. The Major League Soccer team is closing in on a deal to change ownership from Anthony Precourt to the Haslams and Columbus-area investor Dr. Pete Edwards.
“While there are many details to be worked out, our alliance is working diligently and collaboratively with Major League Soccer to keep the Crew in its community,” the Haslams, Edwards and the Columbus Partnership announced in a joint statement. “We are very excited about the quiet but deliberate progress that has been made to date and will keep the community updated as this process moves forward.”
Precourt announced his intentions to move the team to Austin on Oct. 17 of last year. A community campaign called “Save the Crew” began a campaign to keep them.
The Haslams, who bought the Browns in 2012, came to the rescue.
“We value and appreciate the benefits a professional sports franchise can bring to a community and are hopeful to be part of the solution to keep the Crew in Columbus,” the Haslams said in a statement. “We would invest in a strong infrastructure within the Crew organization so that we can continue our focus and commitment to building a winning Cleveland Browns football team in Northeast Ohio. We look forward to seeing how this process evolves.”