Obetz, Ohio Wants A Cleveland Browns Practice Or Something To Justify Keeping The Columbus Crew Around

Give us your practice.

Obetz, Ohio is more than likely to lose the Major League Soccer Columbus Crew’s training camp business when a new soccer stadium opens in Columbus in a few years. The Crew franchise has been in Obetz for 22 years and ownership was hoping to remain in the community until the new stadium is ready and a training facility is built nearby. But Obetz is not going to allow the Crew franchise to leave quietly. Obetz has decided it will toss the Crew from the present facility in December unless Crew owner Jimmy Haslam gets the Cleveland Browns to hold a training camp session in town. Haslam can do that very quickly. He owns the Crew and the National Football League’s Cleveland Browns franchise. Haslam’s Crew has a month to month lease to use the Obetz facility since the lease between the Crew and Obetz ended in 2018. NFL teams don’t just find a place for training camp without a lot of due diligence if the team wants to go elsewhere for about two weeks. There is a need for hotels complete with meeting rooms and a practice facility. A Browns training camp would overlap with the Crew in season training. Obetz wants than a Browns football youth camp.

Columbus was supposed to lose its MLS team but Haslam bought the franchise after some league manipulation. The former owner of the Columbus franchise, Anthony Precourt, decided Austin, Texas offered a much better business opportunity for his franchise and decided to leave the Ohio capital for the Texas capital. Haslam bought Precourt’s Columbus team. That allowed Precourt to take an Austin stadium deal and get an expansion team. Haslam apparently will get what Precourt could not, a new Columbus stadium. But the stadium has been delayed because the land for the facility is not yet available as negotiations continue with the parcel owner.