Hunt Sports Group and the Columbus Crew announced today the sale of the Crew to Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV). A new owner for the Crew not only helps the team immensely, it is also good for the growth of Major League Soccer.
Hunt Sports Group, headed by Clark Hunt, has a long history with MLS. Clark's father, Lamar Hunt, was considered one of the founding fathers of MLS. He owned three of the league's original 10 teams. These included the Dallas Burn, Kansas City Wiz and Columbus Crew.
In 2006, the Hunts sold the Kansas City franchise to Ongoal, LLC, currently known as Sporting Club. Now with the acquisition of the Crew by PSV, Dallas is the only remaining team owned by Hunt Sports Group.
The Columbus Crew can now have an owner that is fully committed to only them, and the same goes for Dallas.
The new money will no doubt benefit the Crew. Perhaps the new owners will reward the team and its fans by signing two more designated players (DP). Columbus currently has just one DP in Federico Higuain.
Precourt's new ownership role now puts the league at 19 teams and 18 owners, which is far from where the league was just 11 years ago. In 2002, MLS had 10 teams and only three owners—Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Lamar Hunt, and Robert Kraft.
Now AEG, owners of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, is the only multi-team owner remaining in MLS. Is it finally time for the entertainment giant to sell its stake in the Dynamo? One can only hope so. Every MLS club deserves owners that can fully devote their attention to the team.
And when the day comes where every team has its own owner, the league will have grown tremendously and will undoubtedly be better off.