It looks like the Columbus Crew aren't going anywhere.
After a year of uncertainty about whether owner Anthony Precourt would be able move the team to Austin, Texas as he planned, a plan is now in place for the Crew to remain in Columbus.
The MLS announced on Friday that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and a Columbus-based investor group led by Pete Edwards, Jr. are moving forward with plans to purchase the team and keep it in Columbus.
While the purchase is not official yet, Major League Soccer and Jimmy and Dee Haslam did release a statement confirming their plans.
A statement from Dee and Jimmy Haslam on the Columbus Crew: pic.twitter.com/tSovbEKZ8G— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 12, 2018
"MLS is committed to keeping Crew SC in Columbus should we continue to make progress on these critical components and agree to key terms with the investor group," the MLS statement read.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther also tweeted a statement regarding the news.
This is great news for the City of Columbus. As I have said repeatedly over the past year, the Crew SC belongs in Columbus. There are many details to work out, but I am grateful for the Columbus Partnership, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, Pete Edwards, Jr. and all of the loyal fans. pic.twitter.com/D01JNatd6G— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) October 12, 2018
The plans also include a new soccer stadium in downtown Columbus, and potential locations have already been discussed, according to SI.com.
Meanwhile, the MLS is still committed to Precourt’s plan to launch Austin FC.
"Major League Soccer is excited to move forward in Austin with Precourt Sports Ventures and their vision for Austin FC. Regardless of any scenario in Columbus, there is a clear path forward for PSV to operate Austin FC as a Major League Soccer club," the MLS statement read.
While there is no timetable for Austin FC's debut, MLS says it is confident the team will begin play "no later than 2021."
This could be the start of one vicious rivalry.