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Columbus Crew Will Open Financial Records To Potential Buyers

Jay LaPrete
Associated Press
Columbus Crew fans show their support for their team as they play against Toronto FC during the first half of an MLS Eastern Conference championship soccer match Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017 in Columbus.

Potential buyers of Columbus Crew will have the chance to see the team's financial records, according to emails filed with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.

Precourt Sports Ventures, the owner of Columbus Crew, is "prepared to provide pertinent information to bona fide offerors, subject to an appropriate non-disclosure agreement," according to an email exchange between a Major League Soccer attorney Marc Kessler and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's office.

DeWine, along with the City of Columbus, sued Precourt Sports Ventures in early March after team owner Anthony Precourt announced his intention to move the team to Austin, Texas. Citing the 1996 "Modell Law," the lawsuit claims Columbus Crew failed to give proper notice about a move and must provide the city the chance to purchase the team.

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein asked the court earlier this month to pause a six-month period when local investors have a chance to buy the Major League Soccer franchise. According to the city, Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer has contacted potential purchasers and identified some potential downtown locations for a new stadium.

This new email chain was filed with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, and comes in response to a letter Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther sent to Precourt requesting to inspect financial records ahead of any potential purchase offer.

"We look forward to the prospective purchasers providing you a concrete offer(s) once they are able to complete a thorough valuation of the team," Ginther wrote.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.