Mark Wahlberg says he'd be interested in buying Columbus Crew, MLS downplays actor's claim
The team is in danger of being relocated to Austin, Texas
Mark Wahlberg may be looking to expand his portfolio. The actor and Wahlburgers co-founder was in Ohio on Monday after he bought a Chevy plant in West Columbus, and his trip may have yielded some other investment opportunities. Specifically, the MLS's Columbus Crew SC, an original MLS franchise that is in danger of being moved to Austin, Texas, by current CEO Anthony Precourt. Precourt has owned the team, founded in 1994, since 2013.
"Actually, you know what, I would," Wahlberg said when asked if he'd be interested in buying the team, via Last Word on Soccer. "My dear friend [Robert] Kraft has not only the New England Patriots, but he owns the New England Revolution as well. I have a bunch of people who are involved. I think that may be something we need to discuss."
MLS has been in talks with local entities looking to keep the team in Columbus, but the going has been slow. And the league downplayed Wahlberg's comments, with a spokesperson saying that there's "nothing substantive" to Wahlberg's interest in a statement, via ESPN.
These may have just been empty words coming from someone being a prisoner of the moment, but Wahlberg would immediately become one of the biggest owners in the sport. It's possible that he'd be right behind David Beckham -- who will co-own the new Miami club to join the league in 2020 -- in terms of popularity.
As for Wahlberg's dear friend, Kraft isn't the only NFL owner to dabble in MLS. The Falcons' Arthur Blank owns Atlanta United FC, the Chiefs' Clark Hunt owns FC Dallas, and the Rams' Stan Kroenke owns the Colorado Rapids.
A Twitter account entitled "Save The Crew," run by fans, has some incredibly ambitious plans for a stadium that would keep the Crew in Columbus, and not many people could help to fund it.
Who knows, maybe Wahlberg could save soccer in Columbus. It sounds random, but it's no less believable than some of the other roles he's played.
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