Judge declines to dismiss lawsuit over Columbus Crew move

A judge in Franklin County has declined a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to keep Major League Soccer team Columbus Crew in Ohio.

The lawsuit, brought by the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio, argues a proposal to relocate the Crew to Austin, Texas, does not comply with state law.

Lawyers for Crew owner Anthony Precourt and MLS argued that the ‘Modell Law’ does not apply to them because it is an unconstitutional obstacle to their right to conduct business. But the case has now been allowed to proceed.

Cleveland Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, along with the Columbus Partnership, have announced a plan to purchase the Crew as an MLS expansion team, keeping top-tier soccer in the city. Precourt, meanwhile, is looking to start a new team in Austin.