Crew SC fans remain optimistic even after downtown stadium plan falls through
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Game one of the eastern conference championship of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup playoffs took place Tuesday night at Mapfre Stadium between Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC.
Excited for the game, Crew SC fans tailgated and played games outside the stadium ahead of the playoff match.
The team's postseason success comes at the same time as talks of moving the team to Austin, Texas.
Fans are confident the success of the team will translate to keeping the team in Columbus.
"I think we're living in the plot of major league really. Like it's very much if we win this whole thing, we're going to have the team still. You can't move the champions. It looks bad on the leagues it looks bad on the owner. Like you're moving success," said Crew SC fan Antony Willis
"Everything else that's going on it just adds to the excitement. The city really feels the vibe. We're just really excited to be here and be able to play and see what the city can come up with and what the team can do to respond," explained Crew SC fan Mitch Durkop.
"Precourt's a business man right? So I hope that we can come or someone can to the table with a deal that makes business sense and he agrees it makes sense for him to keep the team here," added Crew SC fan Marshall Usher.
Efforts to keep Crew SC from leaving have been underway since talk of relocation started.
On Monday, The Columbus Foundation's president and CEO Doug Kridler announced a plan for a downtown stadium near the convention center and Arena District. Kridler said the pitch was an effort to spark conversation on how to keep the team from leaving. However, Kridler released a statement on Tuesday evening saying that option ultimately wasn't viable.
"In the heat of emotion, I conceived of an idea this weekend that doesn’t work for a variety of reasons. However well-intentioned, it was a mistake to approach it in this manner, given that it may have provided some false hope about the practicality of that solution," Kridler said.
Save the Crew is another group working to prevent the team from leaving.
Spokesman Morgan Hughes said the proposal is an example that narratives of people not caring for Crew SC are false.
"One of the things that we do behind the scenes is try to destroy narratives. The false narratives that are put out there. And the fact that we have a local leader of our community saving let's get something done, we love the Crew, we want to keep the Crew here it shows that those narratives are false," said Hughes.