MLS side Columbus Crew are one step closer to remaining in Ohio thanks to some help from NFL franchise the Cleveland Browns.
Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is part of an investment group that is trying to keep the Crew in Columbus.
Crew's current owner Anthony Precourt has made it clear in recent months he would like to relocate the team to Austin, Texas. He reportedly wanted to put the team in either Columbus or Austin, whichever one would build him a stadium.
MLS, though, is still planning to introduce an Austin team, saying "there is a clear path forward" to operate a franchise in the area.
Haslam and the Columbus Partnership released a statement along with the MLS announcing their intentions on Friday.
"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," MLS said in a statement.
"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."
A statement from Dee and Jimmy Haslam on the Columbus Crew: pic.twitter.com/tSovbEKZ8G— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) October 12, 2018
Haslam, the Columbus Partnership and Dr. Pete Edwards released a joint statement.
"While there are many details to be worked out, our alliance is working diligently and collaboratively with [MLS] to keep the Crew in its community," the statement read.
"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."
Haslam added: "We value and appreciate the benefits of 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 a strong infrastructure within the Crew organisation 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."
|Steelers sign Roethlisberger to two-year contract extension|
|Ravens make Tucker highest-paid kicker in NFL|
|Cowboys pick up Ezekiel Elliott´s fifth-year option|
|NFL Draft 2019: How does Kyler Murray compare to QBs taken first overall?|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five overrated prospects, starting with a first-round QB|
|NFL Draft 2019: Teams with most riding on outcome|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five best first-round fits|
|49ers kicker Gould trying to force trade|
|Rams pick up Goff´s fifth-year option|
|Seahawks reportedly send Frank Clark to Chiefs|
|NFL Draft 2019 Big Board: Murray & Bosa the top prospects|
|Cowboys´ Cooper describes relationship with Prescott|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five sleeper prospects|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five potential first-round surprises|
|DaMarkus Lodge relishing chance to prove himself as all-round receiver|
|Colts owner Jim Irsay buys John Lennon´s ´Sgt. Pepper´ piano|
|The O-Line bond behind two Heisman Trophies - Dru Samia & Ben Powers talk protecting Baker Mayfield|
|Elijah Holyfield set for NFL armed with fatherly advice and Georgia grounding|
|Brady, Edelman react to Gronkowski denting the Lombardi Trophy|
|This Week in US Sports: Lightning handed historic loss, Red Sox massively hungover|
|NFL Draft 2019: Should Cardinals take Murray or stick with Rosen?|
|Giants GM Dave Gettleman shuts down Josh Rosen trade talk|
|The NFL is a business - Josh Rosen has no complaints about Cardinals trade rumours|
|Russell Wilson wants to be a ´Seahawk for life´|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five must-see prime-time games|
|Here´s how Gronkowski dented the Lombardi Trophy|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five dates to circle on your calendar|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five potholes on Patriots´ road to repeat|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five takeaways from fixture release|
|Mack to face Raiders at Tottenham after NFL reveal 2019 international schedule|
|Kittle backs ´outrageous´ Fant & ´Mr Do it All´ Hockenson to have day-one impact|
|Thomas signs with Patriots|
|Niners star Kittle relishing competition on both sides of the ball|
|Hey Seattle, we got a deal! - QB Wilson hints at Seahawks extension|
|Eagles QB Wentz says back isn´t 100 per cent healed|
|Patriots re-sign Gostkowski|
|Kyler Murray scheduled to visit Cardinals - reports|
|Former NRL star Holmes signs deal with Jets in NFL|
|Rodgers: Former Packers coach McCarthy should be respected|
|Wade: Bills move makes NFL gamble 100 per cent worth it|
|Former Wasps star Wade to link up with Buffalo Bills|
|Antonio Brown takes jab at former Steelers team-mate JuJu Smith-Schuster|
|Mahomes speech inspires Texas Tech to Final Four win|
|Lawrence agrees five-year Cowboys extension|
|This Week in US Sports: AAF folds, half of Yankees´ roster hurt|
|Nelson would struggle to say no if Rodgers asked him back|
|Packers firing couldn´t have been handled any worse - McCarthy|
|Mahomes reveals advice Brady gave him after AFC championship game|
|Mayfield says playing with Beckham will be ´a lot of fun´|
|Chiefs trade for Ogbah, send Murray to Browns|
|Beckham: Browns trade ´one of the best things to happen in my life´|
|Tom Brady announces ´retirement´ in first tweet|
|Rams´ Sean McVay pulls ultimate ´tampering´ prank on Cardinals´ Kliff Kingsbury|
|49ers coach Shanahan says Garoppolo ´could play now´|
|Gronkowski backed for WWE by former Patriot-turned-wrestler Moose|
|History-maker George Kittle looking beyond personal glory in post-Gronk era|
|This Week in US Sports: Rob Gronkowski & Conor McGregor retire, March Madness in full swing|
|Greg Schiano abruptly steps down as Patriots defensive coordinator|
|He´s still a quality NFL quarterback – Giants GM defends Manning|
|Patriots honour Gronkowski with emotional tribute video|
|Kane reiterates NFL goal in bid to join greatest sportsmen|
|Former Packers star Nelson retires|
|Goodell and NFL seeking all the facts in Kraft case before any action|
|Saints coach Payton reacts to new replay rules: I think we got it right|
|Kingsbury praises Rosen but says Cardinals yet to decide on number one pick|
|Offensive, defensive pass interference to become reviewable|
|Kittle, Kelce & Ertz - The post-Gronkowski generation of elite tight ends|
|McVay: No rush for Goff contract talks|
|Kraft requests jury trial, pleads not guilty to soliciting prostitution charges|
|Eminem calls for AAF to allow fighting|