The Hunt family has made way for new ownership at Crew Stadium, with the San Francisco-based private investment and management firm taking over.The Hunt family's long-standing involvement in MLS is down to one team following its sale of the Columbus Crew.
Hunt Sports Group, headed by Clark Hunt, the son of MLS charter investor Lamar Hunt, sold the Crew to Precourt Sports Ventures Tuesday, relinquishing its hold on multiple teams and providing the Crew with a new direction.
"We have long believed in the ascension of soccer in the American sports-entertainment world, so stepping into a Charter Member of the League is an incredible moment," Anthony Precourt, managing partner of Precourt Sports Ventures, said in a club statement. "We thank the Hunt family for having the trust in us to become the Crew’s new steward. The Hunt family has done so much for MLS, and the development of the game in Ohio, and for that we thank them.
"We also appreciate the support we received from the league office in bringing this together. Most importantly, we want to recognize the Crew’s supporters and players, and let them know we aim to be successful, we plan to win, and we will be actively engaged members of the Columbus community. We look forward to earning your support every day, because without you none of this would be possible."
The Hunt family, which was one of the pioneering groups in the early days of MLS and helped keep the league afloat and headed toward its ascension, maintains its ownership stake of FC Dallas following Tuesday's transaction. It also previously owned Sporting Kansas City back when it was known as the Kansas City Wizards.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Precourt Sports Ventures as a new MLS owner,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “During the last several months, I have had the opportunity to get to know Anthony Precourt. I have been very impressed with his approach to business, his passion for the game and his commitment to joining our other owners in continuing to build the league and sport in North America.
"I also thank the Hunt family for their commitment to the Crew since MLS launched in 1996. As with many other innovations, Lamar Hunt's decision to build Crew Stadium -- the first soccer-specific stadium in the U.S. -- was a major turning point in the history of our sport. His children -- Sharon, Lamar Jr., Clark and Dan -- have continued their father's leadership both in Columbus and in Dallas where the family will continue their ownership of FC Dallas.”