Hunts sell Crew to San Francisco energy investor

By Paul Kennedy

The Columbus Crew has been sold by the Hunt Sports Group to Precourt Sports Ventures headed by managing partner Anthony Precourt.

The Hunts Sports Group founded by the late Lamar Hunt was the last owner of two MLS teams. It also owns FC Dallas. AEG owns the LA Galaxy and remains a part owner of the Houston Dynamo.

"It's a long time from the days when we had only three owners," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Following the contraction of the league to 10 teams in 2001, the league had only three owners: AEG (which owned six teams), the Hunt family (which also owned Kansas City) and the Kraft family (which owned New England).

"There is no MLS without Lamar Hunt," said Garber. "Just as there is no sports industry today without Lamar Hunt."

The sale leaves the Revolution as the last team still owned by the same owner that was in place when MLS was launched in 1996.

“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,” Precourt said in a statement.

Precourt, 43, heads a private equity firm, Precourt Capital Management, specializing in the energy sector. His father, Jay Precourt, has been highly successful in the energy business.

Clark Hunt is the chairman of Hunt Sports Group. He was named the chairman of the NFL Kansas City Chiefs in 2005. Clark's brother, Dan Hunt, is vice president of the Hunt Sports Group and runs FC Dallas.

Hunt Sports Group will remain the owner of FC Dallas, where Garber noted "there has been lots of progress" made in recent years.

QUAKES' STADIUM OPENING DELAYED. The opening of the San Jose Earthquakes' stadium has been delayed. Instead of opening at the start of the 2014 season, the stadium will open for the second half of the season.

The 18,000-seat stadium is located near San Jose International Airport on industrial land.

"We have encountered incredibly difficult unforeseen conditions at the stadium site,” said Devcon Construction vice president Peter Copriviza in a statement. “With foundations over 10 feet deep, drilled piers, unexpected underground chambers, complicated with a relatively high water table, we have been presented with a series of challenges during both the demolition and grading process.”

The Quakes will remain at Buck Stadium Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University.
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