The Save the Crew movement has taken a multi-faceted approach to our efforts, knowing that no single element would be sufficient to keep the team in Columbus. The movement has emphasized fan support, gathered business allies, and reached out to local government to adopt resolutions. All to support the cause of saving the Columbus Crew.
However, one ongoing effort came to fruition at the end of February.
Save the Crew member Jo Rodgers reached out to Ohio Senator Stephanie Kunze in October 2017, urging her to sponsor a Senate resolution. While the process took some time, Senator Kunze ultimately agreed to became the primary sponsor of a resolution which was referred to the Ohio Government and Oversight Committee in December.
In February, the committee considered the resolution and heard testimony from multiple speakers: Rodgers, speaking on behalf of the fan community; Nate DeMars of Pursuit and Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, speaking for the business community; and Karen Crognale, former Crew Academy and Youth Manager, speaking on the impact to the local soccer community.
The committee members unanimously agreed to send the resolution to the Senate floor for a full vote.
On February 28, all of those efforts resulted in Senate Resolution 342 passing unanimously. The resolution, which had 15 co-sponsors (both Democrats and Republicans), “[urges] the investor-operator and chairperson of Columbus Crew Soccer Club to keep the franchise in Columbus.”
Similar resolutions had previously been adopted by a number of municipalities around Central Ohio, but this was the first state-level resolution adopted. The resolution required that an authenticated copy be sent to the investor-operator as well.
As Senator Kunze told ABC 6, “It’s good for the city. It’s good for entertainment obviously. We have lots of fans who love going to soccer games. It’s great for youth soccer.” Of course, other Ohio elected officials have voiced their support for keeping the team in Columbus; Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has been involved in discussions and Ohio Representative Mike Duffey has spoken out frequently about the legal challenges that face any attempts to move the team.
If you’d like to work on getting your city or town to support a Save the Crew resolution, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.