Judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit over Columbus Crew move

A fan of the Columbus Crew SC holds up a sign showing her support for keeping the team in Columbus prior to the start of the match between the Columbus Crew SC and the Toronto FC at MAPFRE Stadium on November 21, 2017 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio— An Ohio judge isn’t dismissing a lawsuit seeking to keep the Columbus Crew soccer team in Columbus.

The Columbus Dispatch reports a judge on Monday denied the team’s and Major League Soccer’s request to dismiss the suit brought by the city of Columbus and the state of Ohio.

The lawsuit argues a Crew proposal to relocate to Austin, Texas, didn’t comply with state law saying Ohio sports teams using publicly supported facilities must give six months’ notice and allow cities or residents a chance to buy the team.

Attorneys for the team and MLS argue Crew SC doesn’t receive public financial assistance and the law interferes with the right to conduct business in interstate commerce.

The team’s owner had no comment on Monday’s decision. An MLS statement called it disappointing.