Precourt Sports Ventures of San Francisco has bought the Columbus Crew from Hunt Sports Group. Clark Hunt, chairman of Hunt Sports Group, made the announcement today at Crew Stadium.
It is now widely reported that the purchase of the Crew included an “out clause” allowing Precourt to move the team to Austin, Texas; according to Alex Fischer “It appears he and others have long had a secret plan to try to move the team to Austin, starting with what has been reported as an ‘escape clause’ in his 10-year agreement that no one was aware of, and months of private discussions in Austin. It’s a shame leaders here in Columbus have been misled for so long.”
Precourt’s purchase agreement included a promise to keep Crew SC in Columbus for at least 10 years, as well as an escape clause in the event Precourt decided to move the team to Austin. Precourt declined to discuss the specifics of the purchase agreement.
Here’s a source with a quote from an Arace column that mentions the clause.
On December 8, 2017, Garber seems to confirm that the Austin clause was essential to Precourt’s purchase of the Crew (see our entry on that date regarding the 2017 “State of the MLS” address).