Why The Columbus Crew Need To Die

columbus crew austin move major league soccer anthony precourt savethecrew trolls the tom gulley show


If you follow soccer, particularly Major League Soccer, you've seen this sad missive spammed on nearly every soccer-related article online.

It's the battle cry of Columbus Crew followers. They're upset that their investor/operator, Anthony Precourt, is planning to move the team to Austin, Texas for a variety of reasons. None the least of which are really terrible fan support, poor civic partnerships, and little to no governmental partnership.

And the truth of it is that the Columbus Crew need to die. For lots of reasons.

1. Nobody is showing up. In droves.
Now, unlike Crew "fans"--who seem to just have a hashtag, I have these pesky things called "facts."

The Columbus Crew finished 20th out of 22 teams in attendance this year. The Crew "fans" response is that it's the investor/operator's fault. They blame lack of marketing, lack of promotions (not enough Beer Nights for people to get their drunk on), and allude to mysterious plots to keep people from buying tickets.

But the reality is that people weren't showing up long before Anthony Precourt came along.

Between 2005 and 2011, the Crew didn't once average 17,000 fans. Only once did they crack 15,000. Twice they got less than 13,000. This is a team without any competition in the realm of major league sports for the majority of their season. And they've had over 20 years to get it right.

(The only competition being the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, which are being equally non-supported by Columbus, finishing 27th out of 30 at just 14,665 in 2016.)

And here's a telling statistic. The Columbus Crew, in all-time attendance figures--average 2,000 LESS per game during the PLAYOFFS than they do during the very unimpressive regular season.

In 21 years, the Crew have averaged over 18,000 one time. Their first year, playing in a 100,000 seat stadium. They averaged around 14,000 four times. FOUR TIMES, they couldn't get 14,000 into the stadium--three of those times, UNDER 13,000. So, eight of their 21 years? Well under 15,000. Their all-time average is a paltry 15,450 a season.

For the playoffs? It gets even worse. Of their 13 playoff seasons, eight averaged under 13,000 per match. In 2014, BARELY 9,000 showed up for a playoff game. Their all-time average is 13,491. And Crew "fans" would have you believe there is crazy wild undeniable passion for this team. Believe that, and I've got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

2. The bar has been raised in Major League Soccer. Columbus isn't even close.
Just this year, a first year franchise, Atlanta United averaged 48,000 per match. And got over 70,000 on several occasions when they opened their stadium's seating completely.

For those keeping score, that's over three times the average of the Columbus Crew. In Atlanta's first year.

Seattle, 43,000. Toronto, 27,000. Orlando, 25,000. NYCFC, 22,000. These are all teams that haven't had 20 years--in a small market with no competition--to get it right.

This year, the league average was 22,000. Columbus averaged 15,000. That's 7,000 less than the league average, for those keeping score at home.

A second division USL team down the road, FC Cincinnati, is averaging 21,000. The math is inescapable.

"Save our team! Even though we aren't showing up and never have!" Sure. We'll all get right on that.

3. Columbus isn't profitable. Not by a longshot.
According to Forbes, Columbus is the least valuable franchise in Major League Soccer.

And also, according to Forbes, they're losing $5 million a year.

Why? Well, the first thing would be the Hashtag Warriors who don't actually show up for games.

Other factors include little to no TV revenue. Lesser dollars than larger markets in ad and digital ad sales. And no participation by the local business community to make it that way due to the very obvious lack of fan support.

Crew "fans" claim they need a TV deal. They apparently don't realize that the NFL started a practice in 1973 of blacking out local broadcasts of games until a certain percentage of tickets were sold to the game. That's good business sense. Why hand out the game for free until the stadium is full?

And, as the numbers blatantly indicate, that stadium isn't going to be close to full. Columbus isn't a major market that can trade tickets for a TV contract that can bring huge numbers. Particularly when fan support just doesn't pass the smell test on the part of sponsors or broadcasters.

Merchandising? The Columbus Crew didn't have a jersey amongst the league's top 25 best-sellers this season. So that's not really happening, either.

The team can't generate revenue, and with the "Hashtags do more than buying tickets" attitude of their "fans"?

There's little to no chance anyone--Anthony Precourt or anyone else--is going to just hemorrhage money so "fans" who consider the convenience of NOT showing up to games as their birthright have a team in town.

"Save our team! Even though we won't even go through the motions by showing up and never have--in order to get local sponsors interested in upping their rate!" Funny how people aren't exactly tripping over themselves to help "fans" who won't show up to games, isn't it?

4. Trolls, trolls, trolls--and lots of 'em! That's Columbus Crew fans.
The hashtag. That's what they've got.

Now, a SMART group of fans would reach out to other people with an actual appeal. Rather than spamming every single article online with just a hashtag.

That, and further troll behavior directed at those who are tired of having their soccer comments section spammed--and respond accordingly with #KillTheCrew.

If an article was ABOUT the Columbus Crew? OK. We can all live with that, to some extent.

But an article about Minnesota United's first season? About the Sounders-Toronto MLS Cup final? About the struggles of a Houston Dynamo player? Dozens of articles having NOTHING to do with the Columbus Crew? It's tiresome troll behavior that turns more people off from their cause than gains followers.

In fact, the "fans" of the Crew loudly crow about their online petition to save the Crew. It has 16,500 signatures. Remember the part where the league average for attendance is 22,000? That's right. After months, they have less than a single MLS game, but think it's a groundswell of support.

#KillTheCrew is becoming more and more popular all the time. Nobody is going to help trolls who wouldn't help themselves.

Here's the response I got to facts and reality from a Crew "fan" named Jason Woolever who works with Holony Media. Instead of responding with counter arguments, or even insults about my appearance, logic, background, or knowledge--he fabricated a totally false posting and attributed it to me.

And, in true Crew "fan" form, he showed his class by going full-on sodomy.

Classy, huh? And this is just a drop in the bucket. The Crew fans want you to #SaveTheCrew, but they don't like facts about attendance, team value, or any other sort of unflattering reality.

And they respond like fourth grade trolls. Time after time after time.

"Save our team! We'll troll every article till you do! And when you mention that trolling and spamming isn't the best way to earn sympathy and followers? WE'LL MAKE UP TROLL STUFF!" Bright people, these Crew fans.

5. US soccer has no promotion/relegation. Columbus hasn't earned their MLS status.
Unlike nearly every league in the world, Major League Soccer has no system of demoting the worst-performing teams on the field, and promoting teams that finish at the top of the lower leagues.

Therefore, a Major League Soccer franchise is a golden ticket into the first division of American soccer.

Giving them away to cities and fans who won't support their team, or have no reasonable chance of ever being profitable just won't do in this day and age. Not with the Atlantas and Seattles and Orlandos of the world doing things the right way for viable clubs.

Losing money, a piteous trollish fan base that won't show up to games, and little chance of becoming profitable via business or government partnership isn't going to cut it with Cincinnati up the road averaging 21,000 a match. Sorry.

You don't get to stay forever for free. You've had over TWENTY YEARS, Columbus. Sorry.

6. The governor of Ohio himself said Columbus "hasn't created a spark" in 20 years.
This is self-explanatory and pretty much makes its own gravy.

7. Other markets deserve a shot after Columbus wasted one for decades.
Apparently, the people in Columbus don't remember the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Or the Miami Fusion.

There's precedent in Major League Soccer for underperforming franchises.

Cities are vying even now for precious and valuable expansion franchises in MLS. They're stepping up to the plate with agreements to build new, modern stadiums. They're coming to the table with civic and government partnerships.

Columbus? Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Just "lose money and stay here." Oh, and the trolling.

8. HISTORICAL bad attendance. Not keeping up with MLS.
Here's how the Crew finished in attendance rankings for the last ten years. You've seen the actual numbers already. Here's how they're doing amongst their counterparts.

2007. 11th of 14 teams.
2008. 9th of 15.
2009. 9th of 15.
2010. 9th of 16.
2011. 17th of 18.
2012. 14th of 19.
2013. 12th of 19.
2014. 16th of 19.
2015. 16th of 20.
2016. 16th of 20.
2017. 20th of 22.

Tell me again how it's all Precourt's fault. (The 2008 figure is from an MLS Cup winning year. Under 15,000 per match. So, even when the Crew is winning, the stadium isn't full.)

9. The League loses nothing by losing Columbus.
The results are in. Nobody's clamoring to #SaveTheCrew. And why should they?

The Crew "fans" should long ago have saved themselves. Why should anyone get motivated to leap into action for a bunch of people who a) happily champion their right to troll anyone and anything under the sun, and b) who failed to support their team when they had the chance?

The answer is that there is no reason. MLS leaving Columbus is no great loss. No loss at all, in fact.

Sure, there was a time of great hope and optimism about a small market team taking hold--a la the Green Bay Packers--then being embraced by the city universally and creating a groundswell of support.

It didn't happen. It's been two decades. So, #SaveYourBreath. The Columbus Crew need to die.

And Austin needs to start buying tickets.

Tom Gulley (recipient of the David Letterman Scholarship) is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and journalist who regularly creates brilliant communications for some of the world's biggest companies. Especially the ones you admire. He's available for writing, creative strategy, digital communications, talk show hosting, voice talent work, and free 24-hour Martinizing.


  1. Way to make several points then not back them up. This is the biggest waste of blogging and I unfortunately wasted my time to read it. Troll blogging at best.

    1. Well, if a point has been made--which you acknowledge--what more backup is needed?

      I always find it ironic when someone accuses another person of troll behavior when they post a negative remark ANONYMOUSLY. How brave and majestic.

  2. To be considered reliable and accurate you need to cite your sources. While this is well written you do not provide any actual sources to back up your claims.

    1. To be considered credible and accurate, you need to cite what points you believe require sources.

      The franchise value is clearly stated as being the estimation of Forbes--a highly trusted and longtime source of such valuations.

      All of the attendance figures relating to teams in the League, and League ranking in attendance, come directly from Major League Soccer. All of the attendance figures regarding the Columbus Crew come directly from the website of the Columbus Crew.

  3. Sorry Tom, but ESPN isn't hiring any time soon. So no matter how badly you cherry-pick statistics (never mind that Columbus beats both Chicago and Dallas in attendance), you're going to remain as irrelevant as you think Columbus is.

    1. First, why would I be wanting to work for ESPN? And what true, verifiable insight do you have on the totality of their hiring practices? Oh. Right. None.

      Do Chicago and Dallas exist in major markets where ad sales, and TV revenue can generate far more income than Columbus? Yes. Did Dallas just invest over $50 million in stadium renovations including now hosting the National Soccer Hall of Fame? Yes. Are the value of those two franchises, according to Forbes, worth more than the dead last in franchise value Columbus Crew? Yes.

      All these points are made in the article.

      As is this one. Is the investor/operator of either franchise wanting to LEAVE? No.

      In fact, one of them left Columbus.

      And yet another profile without identification for a Crew Apologist. Wow. It's a trend.

      As far as irrelevant is concerned, you yourself took to the time to respond to this article. Logically, it's either not irrelevant, or you spend your time responding to irrelevant things.

      I would also point out that the number of shares and views of this article, and the Reddit, Facebook, and other forums discussing it would render it NOT irrelevant in the minds of many.

  4. So much about what you said shows your ignorance of Soccer in this country.

    But more revealing is what you wrote about yourself - "..is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and journalist who regularly creates brilliant communications..."

    Your shameless self promotion exposes your intent in writing such trash - which is merely to solicit clicks. Good luck in your quest for relevance. You'll need it.

    1. Oh, where to begin, you big, brave anonymous troll from Newark, Ohio?

      I'm showing off my ignorance of soccer in this country? Jeepers, let me fresh you on some history. With some attendance figures, historical ones, that demonstrate a trend that spans league growth, development of the game, and all other factors.

      You may not have caught it the first time:

      2007. 11th of 14 teams.
      2008. 9th of 15.
      2009. 9th of 15.
      2010. 9th of 16.
      2011. 17th of 18.
      2012. 14th of 19.
      2013. 12th of 19.
      2014. 16th of 19.
      2015. 16th of 20.
      2016. 16th of 20.
      2017. 20th of 22.

      There. There's some history.

      As to what I wrote about myself? Well, let me ask you, whose blog is it? Aha. Mine. Did I put a gun to anyone's head and demand that they click their way here? No.

      The notion that identifying oneself on THEIR OWN BLOG is "shameless self-promotion" is just...well, dim-witted.

      Since the article is being shared in so many places that are NOT my page, I indulged in the common practice in place from individual writers to large, corporate news organizations of giving a description about the author.

      As for relevance, it would take very, very, very little to remain more relevant than a person from Newark, Ohio who doesn't even have the "bravery" to use their own name and identify while throwing a hissy fit.

      Crew "fan" example #4,327. Lots of troll behavior. No facts. Just a big bag of nothing.

  5. Not a great analysis. For starters, points 1,2 and 8 - 'Attendance sucks' are repetitive. If attendance sucking is a metric for a team to die, then let's hear why Colorado, Philly, and Dallas (who are also in the cellar on attendance) need to die. You conveniently missed a key point on why attendance sucks in Columbus - and it has a lot to do with PSV's demands on Austin. The location and amenities with the 19 year old Mapfre stadium are pretty bad. The field is fantastic, but Mapfre's city location is pretty bleak. There's nothing near it, other than empty fairground parking lots, some dodgy houses and a Lowes. Due to bad egress points, leaving every match is an absolute nightmare. Mapfre other weaknesses are almost too numerous to list: it doesn't have enough bathrooms. The fans are uncovered (the main reason the 2014 November playoff match, which was played in the pouring rain wasn't well attended), the food sucks, and the suites (every owners love) are spartan at best. As Atlanta, Seattle, Toronto, Portland, etc have shown: great stadium, great location = great attendance. On to your next point (3) - losing money. Unfortunately, this point isn't backed up by actual data. Forbes says they lost $5 million? That's difficult to believe given the teams low $6 million payroll. The only people that know if CCSC are profitable are in the front office, and they aren't talking. Countless articles and interviews have been written about the move, and the front office hasn't used the "we're losing money" as an excuse. Most likely reason is because they can't. The "new" cable only TV deal does suck and the drop in attendance, magically corresponds to the TV deal. BTW, this TV deal is for away games too, not just the blacked out home ones. Hard to follow a team if the casual fan can't watch matches. Not enough promotion is a valid point, not to the 15-16k faithful, but to get those other those other 5,000 butts in the seats. On to Point 4 - their fans suck? Geez. I guess the Raiders, Eagles and Browns need to die too? Point 5 - Relegation. Teams in other leagues are relegated due to on field performance. Not attendance, profitability, or vague "business metrics." CCSC made the MLS Cup in 2015, and the conference finals this year despite being 15th in league payroll. Hardly relegation material. It would be nice if MLS had EPL relegation rules. It would force owners from "cheap out" on payroll. Toronto, BTW, outspent the Crew in 2017 by a factor of 4, yet the Crew took them to OT in the conf finals. So where does this leave us? Pretty much the only point you failed to make: Its Precourt's team and it is his prerogative to move. He hasn't acted honorably in this regard. Precourt began orchestrating the team move at the same time he was sitting on the MLS expansion committee. May not bother you, but I bet it bothers the San Antonio bid team, and perhaps the Cincinnati one too. If Precourt had negotiated in good faith (like Mr Spanos somewhat did in San Diego with the Chargers) and said: "new downtown core stadium or else" and Columbus said: "meh," then I think you'd have a valid point that the team needs to die. But everyone in Columbus were surprised. Now, he hasn't told Columbus to drop dead yet because the move to Austin is not a done deal. His downtown Austin parkland has evaporated, and he seems to be willing to do what he should have done from the start: hold Columbus hostage for a new location downtown. What a guy. Hardly something that will inspire more season ticket sales. So, other than that, nice article. Its clear that 15k supporters in a city don't matter to you. I don't think anyone will expect to be seeing you in the Nordeke anytime soon.

    1. For starters, it's called a return key. Look into it.


      Points 1, 2, and 8 DO all address attendance. But since you can't distinguish between the difference I'll do it for you.

      Point 1 concerns the fact that no one IS showing up in droves. Now. Presently. And that this condition existed BEFORE Precourt showed up. That's for Columbus, the franchise.

      Point 2 concerns the fact that the CURRENT bar has been raised in Major League Soccer by other franchises. CURRENTLY. The present.

      Point 8 defines the historical place Columbus has held within the League in attendance as compared to the other franchises.

      But thank you for helping reinforce the fact that there are a myriad of attendance issues the franchise has failed at over a period of more than a decade.

      The reasons you state attendance "sucks in Columbus" as you so eloquently up it are just EXCUSES. True fans show up. Period. End of sentence.

      Leaving the match is difficult? Suck it up, buttercup. You want a team? Deal with it. Showing up is mandatory. Sorry.

      Not enough bathrooms? Go before you get there. The fans are uncovered? Bring a pancho. The food sucks? Don't eat it. It's a soccer match, not a restaurant.

      Now, if your point is that the stadium and its amenities mean no one will ever show up? Well, then say "buh-bye" to your team. And say "buh-bye" to anyone believing that you have a diehard group of supporters in numbers necessary to keep an MLS franchise.

      My point about the team losing money isn't backed up by any data? Yeah, I'm going to believe Forbes' analysis before yours. Sorry. A full and detailed explanation of their analysis is available online. If you believe Columbus isn't the least valuable franchise in MLS, you're living in a dream world.

      Your argument about TV viewership creating more fans in attendance defies logic to a degree so huge it's the stuff of tin foil hats. Why did the NFL institute a decades upon decades long policy of not broadcasting locally unless the stadium was full?

      Because, generally, people don't feel the need to attend a match if they can watch it on television for free. Pretty simple.

      The MLS online package gets you nearly every match. No subscription to cable or DSL or satellite necessary.



      If you are a fan of a team, why do you need promotions to insure attendance? The Crew mantra is that there is this diehard throng of supporters who just love their Crew so much it's almost beyond the understanding of mortals living outside Columbus.

      If you need a promotion to make it work, then you're not that die hard.

      As to Point 5, not surprisingly, you missed the point. The point is that if we're NOT going to have promotion and relegation, teams given a golden ticket into the first division of American soccer need to be held to a higher standard. That includes attendance and profitability. Allowing a team to hold a slot when they aren't performing in those metrics is just blocking out teams that CAN and WILL, thus stifling the development of better, more solid franchises with committed fan bases.

      CCSC made the MLS Cup in 2015, yes. And look at the attendance that year. Traditionally, teams performing on the field have tremendous attendance. Not so for the Crew. The same would be true of the 20th in attendance finish this year, and the much ballyhooed Eastern Conference finals run.

      As to Dallas and Colorado and Philly? Are their investor/operators--(and you, like so many of the clueless in the Crew fan world, have used the incorrect term "owners")--wanting to leave? No? End of discussion.

      By the way, did Dallas just invest $59 million in stadium renovations to include installing the National Soccer Hall of Fame? Oh, they DID? Yeah, I don't see them leaving any time soon. (Careful followers of MLS will also note that the Dallas investor/operators are the ones who got out of Columbus. Now, they're investing heavy elsewhere. That should speak volumes.)

      Point 4? Yeah, I've done a lot of sports commentary. A LOT. Over a long period of time. And although I encounter the usual amount of garden variety trolls, no one's ever Photoshopped that sort of thing and posted it. Never. And I could post around a dozen more examples of "never before experienced" examples of Crew fan trollery. List all the fan bases you've seen that you consider "unworthy"--Crew fans are leading the league, in my experience, in that category.

      (I've had perfectly fine experiences with Raiders & Browns fans. And I have had wonderful interactions with Eagles fans. And I have been a broadcaster in Dallas.)

      Including spamming article after article with their piteous, pleading, "has no call to direct action or logic in a strategic plan" hashtag.

      Again, it's called a return key. But I won't hold my breath waiting for a Crew supporter to understand how to logically or professionally communicate.

  6. Again, I get the dislike of Columbus, you've made it abundantly clear. What I'm looking for is more balance.

    What you're missing is that the core issue isn't the city, or the fans. Its the owner (Investor! Operator!). Let's recap:

    He's absentee. He lives in San Francisco.

    He's not investing. Payroll dropped by $500k in '16 after they went to the '15 finals. It did go up this year, but that's suspect giving his intention to move. His stadium sucks for everyone except the players. There's been no major improvements in 10 years.

    And, he's done nothing to fix the problem. No outreach to the community (again, Why were civic leaders so surprised?). Bad TV deal. Little to no promotion.

    My question again, is why is Austin so deserving? Civic leaders in Austin aren't acting like Indianapolis did with the Colts in 1984, more like the exact opposite - they seem to be pretty ambivalent. Plus, everything he's asking of Austin would fix his issues in Columbus.

    So its clear to this moronic supporter: he doesn't like Columbus because to a San Franciscan, its not a cool place to hang out. Probably feels that way to a resident of the Dallas Metroplex too. But its not enough to write off the average of 15-16k fans that do show up every season, despite the owner stacking the deck against them, and despite that Mapfre isn't exactly fan friendly in the nicer summer months, and is downright fan hostile in March and April.

    1. HEY! Look who found out how to operate the return key! ::Golf clap.::

      So, you get a dislike for Columbus? For how long have you felt yourself able to discern emotions via the internet? In other words, for how long has the delusion persisted?

      Absentee,eh? Did the previous investor/operator live in Columbus? Oh. Does the owner of Arsenal live in London? Oh. Does the owner of Liverpool live in Liverpool? Oh. Is it a requirement that the investor/operator of an MLS franchise lives in that city? Oh.

      Why would someone heavily invest in a product with a history for more than a decade of having customers who don't buy the product? Why are you whining about his investment when it increased this year?

      Why would someone make major improvements to a stadium people aren't buying tickets for, and that they intend to leave behind?

      The Crew allegedly have this amazing, never-before-seen, once-in-a-lifetime passionate fan base. Given that the Crew have been in a small market for over two decades, what kind of community outreach is needed? Don't the people of Columbus know they have an MLS team?

      The TV situation has already been explained. Plus, when a TV station goes out to try and sell ads for a team that doesn't have people showing up at the gate? Yeah, that's not a real super-good argument for a sponsor to sign up and spend money.

      Also, TV outlets aren't climbing over each other to get such a property. They actually like to make money.

      Austin is deserving because it's what he negotiated for when he took over operations of the team. It's what he wants to do. Sorry that's so hard to grasp. Columbus has had over 20 years. Why is Columbus so deserving? (See above terrible numbers for over a decade.)

      So, the Hunts--who with MLS brought soccer to Columbus must not have liked Columbus because they're from Dallas? Talk about totally clueless regarding sports properties. You've got that locked up.

      Columbus might be a really neat-o place to hang out, but it's not the tourism destination of people's dreams. However, Green Bay, Wisconsin isn't exactly on the tip of people's tongues when planning dream destinations, yet THEY PACK THAT STADIUM.

      Crazy, huh?

      Those 15,451 (not 16K) fans? Yeah, they turn into 13,491 DURING THE PLAYOFFS. Inspiring. Mapfre isn't fan friendly in the summer? LOL! Try Dallas or Houston or Orlando. Winter? Try Salt Lake.

      Whiners. Self-absorbed, excuse-filled whiners. Part and parcel with not showing up, but expecting the world to provide them a team losing millions a year. Bright.

  7. Dont bother approving/posting this one, but I hope you noticed I ignored your insults. would appreciate the same courtesy back.

    I know what a return key is. your site only allows 4096 char, and didnt have the time or energy to split my reply into multiple posts.

    PS, everything in life and on the internet isnt an attack. i just disagree with you.

    1. Insults? What you refer to as an insult, I refer to as an accurate depiction of reality.

      So, you KNOW what a return key is, but chose to post a gigantic, solid block of unorganized, less than pleasant for the reader to wade through visually text, anyway?

      How Crewfanish of you. Didn't have the time or energy? Wow. How much extra time or energy would that have taken? Are you asking people to believe you're that busy? Or are you reinforcing the notion that you didn't have enough energy to think through your position, and that's why your position is basically one gigantic complaint about losing your team due to the fact that Columbus hasn't shown up?

      Not enough energy to use the return key. That's...wow.

      Everything in life? The person demanding a team that has "fans" who haven't shown up for over a decade (bottom half in attendance) and 20th this year, losing huge sums of money yearly, and the least valuable team in a league where others are exploding wants to TELL SOMEONE ELSE ABOUT LIFE?

      That's just...wow.

      Here's something about life. If you don't perform, you suffer. Ask the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion fans.

  8. Don't perform? lol...15-16k fans in a 20k stadium *on average* in what is one of the league's oldest, fan unfriendly stadiums. Then let's factor in the low attendance is this stadium in March and April....and of course, that low average is the city's fault. Again, why aren't Dallas and Chicago packing them in again?

    I'll type it slowly...this owner sucks. Columbus knows it and now, Austin knows it too. This team is not moving Austin, and a new fan friendly stadium will be built just north of downtown Columbus.

    You then can move on to the next target that you want to troll.

    1. Yes. Don't perform. This is what "don't perform" looks like.

      2007. 11th of 14 teams.
      2008. 9th of 15.
      2009. 9th of 15.
      2010. 9th of 16.
      2011. 17th of 18.
      2012. 14th of 19.
      2013. 12th of 19.
      2014. 16th of 19.
      2015. 16th of 20.
      2016. 16th of 20.
      2017. 20th of 22.

      Don't claim a ravenous fan base with that.

      I'll remind you a second time. Dallas and Chicago don't have investor/operators wanting to leave.

      I'll remind you another time that the Dallas investor/operator LEFT Columbus.

      I'll remind you again that Dallas has had stadium construction going on to the tune of $59 million dollars that eliminated seats--and will be the home of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. They're not going anywhere.

      OWNER? The OWNER is Major League Soccer. Did I type that slowly enough for you?

      Kindly explain the clearly stated and proven fact that the team did not PERFORM well BEFORE the current investor/operator.

      Case in point. 2011. 17th of 18. Quick. Manufacture a flimsy, non-fact based excuse about that one.

      Troll? Given your numerous attempts to obfuscate the facts with really sad, easily disproven excuses, you might want to check a nearby mirror on that one.

  9. You keep harping on attendance, but show me one thing the investor/operator of CCSC has done to "raise the bar" in Columbus. Just one.

    Dallas, as you pointed out, has invested $59mm

    Orlando - New stadium.

    Toronto - Multiple renovations to an 8 year old stadium.

    Portland - $50mm expansion announced this year.

    want me to go on?

    What has Mr Precourt done?

    1. Harping on attendance? No, I've also harped on the "least valuable franchise in MLS" thing. And, the "losing millions of dollars every year" thing.

      And, to be specific, the "attendance thing" involves OVER A DECADE of being in the bottom half of MLS attendance. And averaging about 2,000 FEWER for PLAYOFF GAMES. Oh, and not even drawing during an MLS Cup/Supporter's Shield-winning season.

      So, there's that.

      Yes, I pointed out the investment in Dallas. Now, why did I have to do that? Oh, yes. I remember now. You TWICE asked why Dallas wasn't up for relocation. So, you either didn't know about the investment, or weren't smart enough to figure out they weren't going anywhere DUE TO the investment.

      Yes, Orlando has a new stadium. Jeepers, I wonder WHY???

      2015: 32,847 (at Citrus Bowl)
      2016: 31,323 (at Citrus Bowl / Camping World Stadium)

      Yeah, that might have something to do with it. Do you even do a germ of research before your absolutely clueless responses?

      I could point out the robust attendance figures for Toronto and Portland that would lead one to renovate and expand a stadium, but you're stuck on stu...well, not very smart.

      Try to start making the correlation between a lousy fan base that won't show up and spend money on tickets--and a previous investor/operator LEAVING then INVESTING $59 million elsewhere--and someone's reluctance to reward that behavior when they're losing millions.

      Well, the current investor/operator--NOT OWNER--has clearly defined investing in a stadium in Columbus as throwing good money after bad.

      WHAT HAVE THE "FANS" DONE? Oh. Right. Not shown up. Through thick and thin. Especially during the playoffs. For over a decade.

  10. Thanks for confirming that Precourt has done nothing.

    All that matters is attendance. Got it. The fans should show up regardless of the MLS product, simply because they are lucky to have a team nearby to spend money on.

    I'll let your readers decide who's st...not very smart.

    Have a good one.

    1. Done nothing? No, he's made the affirmative decision to quit throwing away good money after bad.

      You know who's done nothing? The Crew "fans." NOTHING BUT WHINE.

      It's never their fault. ALWAYS somebody else's fault. It's Precourt! (Although the team wasn't drawing WELL before him.) It's promotions. It's the neighborhood. It's the food. It's the bathrooms. It's the weather. It's TV.

      NEVER the "fans." Or, more appropriately, the lack thereof.

      FANS show up. Through thick and thin. No matter what. They have in Dallas for 22 years since the last Super Bowl. Through rotten years. In the old Texas Stadium, which was a rat trap. In bitter heat. Bathrooms? Stadium food? Don't make me laugh.

      Intelligence? You posted a gigantic block of gobbledygook because you didn't have the time or energy. You had to have me explain the $59 million investment in Dallas' stadium. Twice. You don't know the difference between an owner and an investor/operator.

      You blamed the "owner" for things the investor/operator was responsible for.

      You've made countless claims that fly directly in the face of the facts. Easily refuted.

  11. Darn. There goes point #3. Oh well. I’m sure we can find some more easily refuted stuff next week.


    1. Oh, wow. An anti-investor/operator web page cherry-picked an article.

      (I note that the anti-investor operator website ALSO uses the incorrect term "owner." Apparently, the person running it ALSO doesn't know that Major League Soccer owns the Columbus Crew.)

      Do they have access to the team's books? No. They admit as much.

      So, throw that on the "easily refuted" pile.

  12. PS, how can you say that Dallas is showing up when they are the lowest in the league in attendance 2 years running? Or just because the investor/operator doesn't want to leave, that's all hunky dory?

    So for the peanut gallery:

    1. The CCSC Investor/Operator is not losing money, and has a sweetheart stadium deal in Columbus Tax and Rent wise (http://www.fieldofschemes.com/2017/11/08/13126/crew-owner-claims-columbus-is-bad-for-business-actual-numbers-show-otherwise/)

    2. Despite the Sweetheart deal, the Investor/Operator has made zero investments in the Stadium or the Club since buying the team. The last 'upgrade' to the Stadium was in 2008, and was not soccer specifc/ it was made by the previous Invest/Operator (they added stage for concerts). The team is in the lower half of the league in payroll.

    3. Columbus attendance was pretty decent (approx 17K per year,or 85% of stadium capacity) until 2017, when the Investor/Operator told the city and its fans to drop dead.

    4. Tom Gully says Columbus sucks. And I remain a moron.

  13. Where do I claim Dallas is showing up? My claim is that their investor/operator (you know, the one who left Columbus?) has invested $59 million in a stadium.

    Also, sometimes teams can't fill their stadium BECAUSE THOUSANDS OF SEATS ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

    And yes, if an investor/operator is willing to bear the brunt of whatever the situation is and STAY, then that's hunky-dory. Where some see an opportunity, they consider it worth the investment.

    Some would consider over a decade in the bottom half of attendance in the second-smallest market as a good enough indicator that there is no opportunity, or that it is NOT worth the investment.

    1. According to Forbes--and their methodology of calculation is elaborately detailed online--CCSC lost $5 million last year. Sweetheart deal? Just a few posts ago, you described the stadium as a hellhole. Not worthy of paying for or attending on the part of fans. Why should the investor/operator be any different?

    2. Why should the investor/operator invest in a stadium that a) isn't his, b) isn't being attended, c) he doesn't intend to use in the future? As for payroll, one might not spend much on payroll if one isn't able to make a) advertising dollars, b) merchandising sales, and c) about a zillion other metrics.

    3. OK, I'll post it again. Please note the pre-Precourt years.

    2007. 11th of 14 teams.
    2008. 9th of 15.
    2009. 9th of 15.
    2010. 9th of 16.
    2011. 17th of 18.
    2012. 14th of 19.
    2013. 12th of 19.
    2014. 16th of 19.
    2015. 16th of 20.
    2016. 16th of 20.
    2017. 20th of 22.

    Pretty decent? Maybe by Crew fan standards. Not by the standards of the previous investor/operator, or the current investor/operator. (The previous investor/operator owns an NFL franchise in the 27th market in the League. Yet has a robust attendance record.)

    4. I have never stated that Columbus sucks. That's your invention, and another shining example of Crew fan troll behavior. Throw it on the pile with the main problem at hand.

    The Crew fan wants, wants, wants. Give me a stadium. Give me a team. Give me food. Give me promotions. Give me bathrooms. Give me TV.

    Yet, they do not understand the pact that other team's fans do. It's that willingness to show up through thick and thin. So it's gimme, gimme, gimme, and no show.

    The part about you remaining a moron was self-applied, no matter how desperately you try to demonstrate it.

  14. Only in the Tom Gulley world is 85% capacity ON AVERAGE "not showing up". But keep on keeping on my friend. This team isn't going anywhere.

    1. Congratulations on finally learning how to correctly spell "Gulley" on a page literally FESTOONED with correct spellings.

      Here you go, again:

      2007. 11th of 14 teams.
      2008. 9th of 15.
      2009. 9th of 15.
      2010. 9th of 16.
      2011. 17th of 18.
      2012. 14th of 19.
      2013. 12th of 19.
      2014. 16th of 19.
      2015. 16th of 20.
      2016. 16th of 20.
      2017. 20th of 22.

      Your all-time playoff average of about TWO THOUSAND LESS than regular season--13,491--is not at 85%, nor is your all-time average during the regular season--15,450--at 85% of the current capacity, 19,968.

      It's 77%

      You just throw things out with zero investigation. Zero certainty. Zero specificity. Just rah-rah, believe our words, not the status.

  15. Let's recap:

    There's no way that the team is losing money. You ignored that one.

    CCSC are in the lower third of attendance. With Mapfre's 19,968 capacity, even if they sold out they wouldn't be much higher. Those attendance figures were, until this year (when the I/O took a dump on the city and fans), averaging about 17k a year (approx 85% of capacity). The Austin stadium, btw is proposed at 20k seats. So, they are staying the lower third regardless. You don't care.

    The I/O lacks ethics. Sitting on the expansion committee while planning his move, and not giving the current city a chance to save the team is even beneath Spanos and Kronke. You don't care.

    Finally, you're saying that moving from the 14th biggest metro area to the 12th will cure all of the alleged ills. Now that's laughable.

    Tom, its been fun arguing with you, but you're ignoring too many facts and cherry picking info more than Kellyanne Conway. I'm going to move on.

    1. No way that the team is losing money? And I ignored it?

      How many times do I have to refer to you FORBES, and their EXTENSIVE analysis online? $5 million last year. I will believe Forbes over you, or some anti-Precourt website. Sorry. (And so will the entire business world.)

      So, again, you make something up out of whole cloth, attribute it to me, and high five yourself.

      "Until this year..." Right. One year is going to drop a 17,000 all-time over two decades average to 15,540, all-time? Take a statistics class.

      I've already done the math for you on capacity. Cherry-picking years and then incorrectly doing the math again isn't the statistical current reality. Sorry.

      Ethics? Try business smarts. He's investing in a team that isn't performing. It's SMART BUSINESS to give himself an escape plan. Crew fans aren't the one bleeding money. He is.

      The current city had every opportunity, as did countless others, to pony up and make a successful bid when the Hunts dropped the underperforming product. They didn't.

      Big shocker.

      Metro areas? Gee, why is the ONLY market in MLS smaller than Columbus at present OUTPERFORMING Columbus? It has to do with fan base. Columbus likes to brag about one, but the numbers say different.

      Facts? Try presenting one that's accurate. All you have is a wagonload of gimme, gimme--and a ton of finger pointing at everyone and everything else (including bathrooms and stadium food) EXCEPT CREW FANS (or the lack thereof.


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