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Judge declines appeal in Columbus lawsuit against Precourt, league

Oct 31, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew SC Investor operator Anthony Precourt watches from his booth in the first half against the New York City FC at MAPFRE Stadium. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The 10th District Court of Appeals in Ohio on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by Crew SC investor-operator Precourt Sports Ventures and Major League Soccer as they attempt to relocate the club to Austin, Texas, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Precourt and the league had appealed a Franklin County Court of Common Pleas order pausing the lawsuit for 90 days, arguing it would essentially prevent the team from relocating to Austin, Texas.

“I am pleased by the dismissal of this unfounded appeal,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement. “We hope that the Defendants will not seek to engage in further delay, and that they will participate in the conversations here in Columbus directed by the trial court while working towards complying with the statute.”

Precourt has long targeted this month to finalize a setup in Austin, in order to be playing at a temporary stadium in 2019.

Columbus and Ohio sued Precourt and the league in March, invoking the state’s untested Modell Law, implemented in 1996 after the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore. The law states that any professional sports team owners receiving public financial assistance must give interested parties a chance to purchase the team before it can be moved.

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