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Op-ed rebuttal: Reassigning blame for struggling Mapfre, disgruntled fans

Op-ed rebuttal: Reassigning blame for struggling Mapfre, disgruntled fans

Mark Elliott

Yesterday 614now writer Steve Croyle expressed his opinion on the current Crew situation here. You know what they say, opinions are just like….well, Google it.

Anyway, here’s mine.

Instead of an overriding critique of Mr. Croyle’s Op-ed (you readers did a good job of that yourselves), I want to address two specific things: The stadium and the timing.    

While much of what Mr. Croyle says about Mapfre is true, blaming it all on “city leaders” is the typical “it’s the government’s fault” excuse. Study after study show publicly funded stadiums never pay off. And local community leaders have come forward with land and locations and private funding—all of which Crew ownership has dismissed or ignored.

Should local leaders have gotten involved earlier? Maybe. 

But Precourt Sports Ventures, the owner of the stadium, has done jack-squat on fixing or updating since they bought the team. And if they want to fix the parking problem, call me—I’ve redesigned the entire lot on the back of a napkin more than once. 

I will admit, PSV has done a great job of putting a competitive team on the field—only one goal away from playing for the MLS Cup last year.

So just as the playoffs start, you make the announcement that you’re thinking of moving? That was just the start of an all out war on Crew fans, including blaming them for problems of getting Austin’s attention!

Sports marketing classes at OSU will use this case study as a demonstration of what NOT to do for years to come.

Is the team moving? I hope not, but I’m resigned to it. I’m going to enjoy this season as much as I can. But I and many others hold Crew ownership responsible for much of this situation, and Mr. Croyle’s column did little to change our minds.

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