Last week, we posted a story about the lawsuit brought by the Ohio Attorney General under Ohio’s “Art Modell Law” to prevent Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew from moving to Austin, Texas. We wondered aloud whether other states might enact similar laws if Ohio can succeed in preventing the Crew’s departure. Readers might have wondered (aloud or otherwise) whether Ohio’s efforts to enforce the Art Modell Law would inhibit professional sports leagues from expanding to Ohio.
The answer, at least for now, appears to be “no.” Major League Soccer announced on May 29 that Cincinnati has been awarded an expansion team, FC Cincinnati, which will commence play in 2019. The stadium in which FC Cincinnati will play will be financed, in part, with taxpayer funding, which will bring the team within the scope of the Art Modell Law. The law didn’t impede MLS expansion in Ohio, and it just might leave Ohio with two MLS teams, rather than one.