The Columbus Crew, one of Major League Soccer’s original franchises, has been purchased by Precourt Sports Ventures. The sale marks the first change in ownership the organization has experienced in its 19-year existence.
“We have long believed in the ascension of soccer in the American sports-entertainment world, so stepping into a charter member of the league is an incredible moment,” Precourt Sports Ventures managing partner Anthony Precourt, who will serve as the chairman of the Crew, said in a statement. “We thank the Hunt family for having the trust in us to become the Crew’s new steward.”
The investment group purchased the team from the Hunt Sports Group, which also owns FC Dallas. Under Hunt’s stewardship, the Columbus Crew won the MLS Cup in 2008 and built the league’s first soccer-specific stadium in 1999. The group was an integral player in the early days of MLS, at one point owning three teams, the Columbus Crew, FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City.
“Although we are very pleased to welcome Anthony to MLS, today is somewhat bittersweet for our family because of how much we love the Crew,” said Clark Hunt, chairman of Hunt Sports Group. “On behalf of my entire family, I want to thank the city of Columbus, the state of Ohio, the Crew players, coaches and staff, and most importantly, the Crew supporters for cultivating one of the most iconic clubs in MLS and allowing us to be a part of it.”