Losing Crew would tarnish area’s image, experts say

Columbus is unlikely to lose out on any business relocations or expansions as a direct result of the Columbus Crew SC leaving town, if that comes to pass. But in an extremely competitive environment for attracting businesses, talent and visitors, it wouldn’t help.

“Anecdotally, it’s often said that 50 percent of site-selection decisions are made because the head of the company likes a particular sports team in that city, or that’s where his grandchildren live,” said Calandra Cruickshank, CEO of StateBook International, a data provider for site-selection professionals. “It’s seen as coming down to personal preferences.”

As cities make their case for attracting the coveted second headquarters site for Amazon, for example, several have highlighted their stable of professional sports teams.

In national rankings put out regularly by various organizations and websites, Columbus is often edged out in the “entertainment/leisure” category by Cincinnati and Cleveland, which have major-league baseball, football and (in Cleveland’s case) basketball teams playing in downtown venues.