The passion for #savethecrew will reach a crescendo this evening for the playoff game at MAPFRE Stadium. The community has mobilized to demonstrate their support for the franchise. I have found it interesting how devoted Columbus has become since Precourt announced the potential move. I wonder if the owners are asking themselves where this widespread team loyalty has been on a weekly basis for the last couple years.
For those of us who grew up in Columbus it’s no surprise to see the community rally behind a cause, in this case a sports team. That’s a signature Columbus move. Doug Kridler, CEO of The Columbus Foundation, published a ‘Spirit Park’ Proposal designed to provide a framework for building a new Crew SC stadium. A move that Precourt has implied would save the team from moving to Austin. The love for team oozes out of his message. This part really stood out to me:
We are a smart and open community, and, when challenged, it is best if we show ourselves at our best, our most creative, our most understanding. In addition to the necessary frank and tough talk that is happening right now, I believe progress on this issue will be aided through positive idea generation and the invitation for many hands to help build a sustainable solution. Like we do with issues we are working on every day at The Columbus Foundation – hugely difficult issues ranging from the opioid crisis to family homelessness – we simply must be committed to find opportunities in the challenges we face.
Kridler’s message is a powerful call to action and the track record of the Columbus Foundation proves it’s not just talk. It’s interesting to observe how much energy and community engagement has been generated around saving a sports team. There is no doubt that there’s an economic impact to having the Crew SC in town. Other metrics like general city happiness are harder to measure.
It has been inspiring to see people advocate so fervently.People love sports and they’re willing to pour their hearts and efforts into them. There’s nothing bad about that. But it also makes me wonder what that energy and passion could accomplish if funneled in other directions. What if we were all buying scarves and painting banners and touting bumper stickers that lobbied for the Columbus public school system? (There’s myriad other issues you could insert as examples here.)
Whether the Crew SC stay in Columbus or not, it’s great to know we have a community that can rally around a cause with innovation and speed.
For now: Go Crew!
For tomorrow: let’s keep rallying around things that are important to us.