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RSS Feed Alumni News

’88 Peter Edwards, MD in line to be the in-part owner of the Columbus Crew SC 


Buying the Columbus Crew SC was never about making money, said Dr. Pete Edwards, who went from team physician to co-owner of the Major League Soccer team seemingly overnight.


"It was not an investment decision. It was a good thing for the city," said Edwards, a surgeon and partner in Columbus-based Orthopedic One, the largest physician-owned orthopedic surgery practice in Ohio.


Edwards said his extended family, known as long-time developers and builders in Central Ohio, has always wanted the city to succeed.


"Losing a sports team is bad for a city. There's a hole there. ... Even if you're a casual fan, the idea that your city lost something – that's a bad feeling," Edwards said during a wide-ranging interview with Columbus Business First ahead of a Wednesday press conference for the new owners and team leadership to meet the public.


"Columbus is growing and on an upswing," he said, "and my family is really passionate about Columbus, so to prevent that from happening was a driving force from the beginning."


The Edwards family and Jimmy and Dee Haslam, who own the Cleveland Browns, came together to keep the Crew in Columbus and create a plan with the city, county and state to build a new stadium and mixed-use development downtown and turn the old Mapfre Stadium grounds into a new Crew training facility and community sports complex.


The plan came together after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations by Columbus city officials, Columbus Partnership CEO Alex Fischer and Chief Counsel Steve Lyons and others after former owner Anthony Precourt said in October 2017 that he wanted to move the team to Austin, Texas.


Edwards declined to say how the ownership is split between the families or to disclose his family's exact investment, but he confirmed the broad outlines of the deal that secured the team's sale. As we've reported, that included $150 million to buy the team, another $150 million toward a new $230 million stadium complex, and an undetermined investment in the more than $300 million in development expected around the new stadium.


Edwards, who has been involved with the Columbus Crew since its inception in 1996, said his family didn't hesitate when he told them about his interest in buying the team. Edwards is the son of real estate developer Peter H. Edwards Sr. of Edwards Companies, a wide-ranging real estate business known locally for its work in the Brewery District, Tuttle Crossing and student housing projects around Ohio State. Other siblings include Jeff Edwards, CEO of Installed Building Products Inc., a public company with more than $1 billion in annual revenue; Central Ohio custom homebuilder Mike Edwards; and Anne Edwards, who renovates historic homes in England.


It was this past October when the Haslam and Edwards families announced they were working on a deal with Major League Soccer to buy the team. An official deal was ironed out in December, along with plans to build the $230 million downtown stadium at the western end of the Arena District and to transform the Mapfre site.


Like the Haslams, Edwards said his family is in this for the long haul and they both see the investment as a multi-generational commitment.


"My kids grew up around it, they watched every game," Edwards said. "This is not just about soccer, it's about family."


Edwards also said none of this would have happened without the SaveTheCrew movement.


"The team wouldn't have stayed if it wasn't for them, that's clear," he said. "Their reward is they won. They got to keep the team – they got to keep our team."

Find the story and watch the video for more information here​.


Posted on 10-Jan-19 by Hyttenhove, Lauren
Tags: Alumni Notes, Class of 1980 - 1989
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