The whispers started around midday, and it wasn't long before they were loud enough to be heard across the country.
Columbus Crew SC fans started to gather, and around 5 p.m., the anticipated announcement finally came.
Major League Soccer confirmed it "is committed to keeping the Crew in Columbus."
Below is video of Brent Miller reading a portion of the MLS statement to fans.
And the full text of today's relevant press releases are below.
Major League Soccer Statement:
“Major League Soccer and the Columbus Partnership have been working together for several months on a plan to keep the Crew in Columbus and we have made significant progress.
Recently, the Haslam Family – along with the Columbus-based Edwards Family, have joined the effort to keep the Crew in Columbus.
MLS, the Columbus Partnership and the investor group all agree that for the Club to be successful, it requires strong local owners, long-term corporate support, a strong season ticket base and long-term plans for a stadium, practice facilities and associated sites.
MLS is committed to keeping the Crew in Columbus should we continue to make progress on these critical components and agree to key terms with the investor group.
MLS recognizes the cooperation of Precourt Sports Ventures has demonstrated throughout the process to date.
MLS also remains very committed to PSV’s plan to launch an MLS Club in Austin and is excited for Austin to become a great addition to MLS. We will continue to work with PSV and the City of Austin on the timing around the launch of that Club.”
Joint Statement from the Columbus Partnership, Pete Edwards, Jr. and Dee and Jimmy Haslam on forming alliance to keep Crew in Columbus:
“We are excited to jointly announce that the Columbus Partnership along with a local investor group led by Pete Edwards, Jr. and Dee and Jimmy Haslam have formed an alliance to continue the collaboration with Major League Soccer to keep the Crew in Columbus.
We are optimistic about our recent conversations with MLS regarding the potential sale of the operating rights of the Columbus Crew.
While there are many details to be worked out, our alliance is working diligently and collaboratively with the League to keep the Crew in its community. We are very excited about the quiet but deliberate progress that has been made to date and will keep the community updated as this process moves forward.”
Statement from Dee and Jimmy Haslam on interest in Columbus Crew:
“We value and appreciate the benefits a professional sports franchise can bring to a community and are hopeful to be part of the solution to keep the Crew in Columbus. We would invest in a strong infrastructure within the Crew organization so that we can continue our focus and commitment to building a winning Cleveland Browns football team in Northeast Ohio. We look forward to seeing how this process evolves.”