By The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The owner of the Crew SC says the team will move to Austin, Texas, unless a new stadium is built in Columbus.

Precourt Sports Ventures, owner of the Major League Soccer club since 2013, said it “is exploring strategic options to ensure the long-term viability of the club.”

Ownership noted the team’s “growing disparity” in attendance and corporate support compared with other MLS mid-size markets, such as Kansas City, Orlando, Portland and Salt Lake City.

Anthony Precourt, investor-operator of Crew SC, told The Columbus Dispatch that timing regarding a decision on the club’s future in Columbus beyond 2018 is “uncertain.” He said the team needs a stadium in downtown Columbus to remain viable.

The Crew is 20th in attendance out of 22 MLS teams with an average of 15,439.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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