Austin group releases Major League Soccer franchise name, badge, colors
The latest sign that the Columbus Crew are moving to Austin, Texas, was revealed on Wednesday, as the proposed team's name, colors and crest were released by Precourt Sports Ventures, the current owners of the Crew.
The name of the presumptive MLS team will be Austin FC, and the crest features a pair of bright green, intertwined oak trees on a black background with the name "Austin" at the top. The tag line "Grow The Legend" accompanied the announcement.
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the reveal was attended by approximately 300 people, including PSV owner Anthony Precourt, at a downtown Austin establishment. At the event, the team left open the possibility for a team mascot and nickname and said it would welcome community input.
"Given the historical and ongoing market challenges, Precourt Sports Ventures must prepare for every potential scenario for the Club in 2019 and beyond," said Precourt in a prepared statement. "Should Austin be granted the requisite approvals ahead of the 2019 season, it will be imperative to launch with momentum and a presence to ensure the long-term sustainability and viability of the Club. Normal business operations shall continue in Columbus for the balance of the 2018 season where winning an MLS Cup remains the objective."
The Austin City Council recently approved a term sheet negotiated with PSV to build a $200 million, 20,000-seat stadium on a 24-acre site in north Austin. The vote authorizes the negotiation and execution of agreements with PSV for construction, lease, and occupancy of the venue with the goal of completing construction in time for the 2021 MLS season.
There are still additional obstacles to overcome. The office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine in conjunction with the city of Columbus is suing PSV under the so called Modell law that requires sports teams that have received state funding to provide six months notice of any intention to relocate and allow local investors the option of acquiring the team. A hearing is set for Sept. 4.