A Major League Soccer spokesperson says there is "nothing substantive" to comments from actor Mark Wahlberg indicating he would be interested in purchasing the Columbus Crew.
Wahlberg was in Columbus on Monday to announce his purchase of a car dealership in the area. He was also touring sites for a possible Wahlburgers restaurant.
When asked by ABC6/Fox28 if he would be interested in purchasing the Crew, Wahlberg said, "Actually, you know what, I certainly would. My dear friend Bob Kraft has not only [owns] 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. I became a huge, huge soccer fan. This World Cup really got me."
Contacted via text message, the MLS spokesperson later downplayed Wahlberg's comments.
The Crew's owners, Precourt Sports Ventures, have been working on moving the team to Austin, Texas for the last 10 months. The Austin City Council is expected to hold a vote on Wednesday on a term sheet that outlines details for a $200 million, 20,000-seat stadium to be built at McKalla Place, a city-owned 24-acre site in North Austin.
If the term sheet is approved, then the city would move forward on a final lease and development agreement with PSV, but the path would be clear for the team to be relocated.
The Columbus Partnership has been working towards trying to keep the Crew in Columbus, recruiting potential investors as well as finding a site for a downtown stadium.
Reached by text message, Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer declined to comment.