How A Burning Scoreboard Saved Columbus Crew Franchise

0427-crew-fire

 

Three years ago today, the Columbus Crew’s scoreboard caught on fire. For any other franchise, it would have been a disaster. For Columbus, it was a blessing.

 

 

SEE ALSO: We’ve Just Witnessed MLS Goal Of The Year

 

Blessing In Disguise

 

The same day that the scoreboard caught on fire, April 27th, 2013, was the first time that Anthony Precourt, now the team’s owner, visited the stadium.

 

anthony precourt

 

Columbus Crew fan “Slice2TonyBoogaloo” remembers the day vividly,

 

“THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST DAYS IN CREW HISTORY, IT’S THE DAY PRECOURT CAME AND BOUGHT THE CLUB. LIKE THE SIGN OF A NEW POPE BUT INSTEAD WE HAVE A FANTASTIC OWNER”

Slice2TonyBoogaloo, Columbus Crew fan

 

Precourt is revered in the city of Columbus as the savior of one of MLS’ oldest franchises.

 

Benevolent King

 

Precourt is exactly the kind of owner the MLS needs – young, rich, smart, and an awesome guy.

 

“I LOVE SOCCER, PERSONALLY. I HAVE PASSION FOR THE SPORT.”

Anthony Precourt

 

 

He’s been a godsend for the franchise since taking the reins in Columbus; renovating the stadium, rebranding the team in a way that resonates with the city, and installing a savvy new coach/Sporting Director in Gregg Berhalter.

 

Gregg Berhalter
Gregg Berhalter

 

He breathed new life into a stale franchise. Columbus Crew SC made it all the way to the MLS finals last year, ultimately falling to the Portland Timbers, another of MLS’ rousing success stories.

 

“I’M THRILLED WE’RE [IN THE MLS CUP FINALS], AND IT’S A TESTAMENT TO GREGG BERHALTER AND THE PLAYERS. THEY’VE REALLY TAKEN US ON A FUN ADVENTURE, A FUN RIDE THIS YEAR.”

Anthony Precourt

 

The Future

 

future

 

MLS is going nowhere but up. Perhaps Precourt’s good friend and Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson summed it up best,

 

“THERE’S NO QUESTION IN MY MIND THAT WE’LL BE A TOP LEAGUE IN THE WORLD IN 20 YEARS”

“AND THERE’S NO QUESTION IN MY MIND WE’LL BE BAR NONE THE BEST LEAGUE BY ANY METRIC IN THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.”

 

What a time to be alive.