Precourt, the managing director of Precourt Sports Ventures, first expressed interest in buying a sports team a year ago. That’s when he contacted Rob Tilliss, the founder and CEO of the sports investment firm Inner Circle Sports, to begin the process. (Inner Circle Sports ultimately ended up advising the Hunt Sports Group, the original owners of the Crew dating to the league’s inception in 1994, on the sale). Negotiations took four months to complete.
Anthony Precourt, the new owner of the Crew, has an ambition that is shared by a legion of small- and mid-market owners of professional sports franchises. “Potentially, this can be the Green Bay Packers of soccer,” Precourt said.
See also the November 11, 2017 Brewdog statement (below), which does, in fact, offer to make the team’s ownership structure similar to that of the community-owned Green Bay Packers.
The Columbus Crew has sold more than 2,700 new season-ticket packages since this time a year ago, and it can thank the upcoming U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier at Crew Stadium for nearly 20 percent of that total.
But the Crew still has a lot of ground to cover to reach its goal of 10,000 season tickets. New owner Anthony Precourt said last week the season-ticket base stands at around 7,000, and he listed hitting the 10,000 mark as one his top priorities for the club.
Crew Stadium needs more than corporate money, however. America’s first soccer-specific facility has been lapped by the likes of Sporting Park and Red Bull Arena when it comes to amenities. Precourt knows that and already is working on improvements. He’ll start by spending around $200,000 to replace bleachers with 2,400 seats on the stadium’s east side and said he’s committed to “benchmarking ourselves with our peers in MLS.