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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Sacramento Republic FC makes effort to become part of MLS

Team secures new funding, releases outline for new stadium plan

In early April, Sacramento Republic FC and the city of Sacramento released a joint term sheet that outlined the makings of a new Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium. The stadium is estimated to be built in the city’s rail yards — but only if the MLS agrees to allow the team to expand to Sacramento. Although the term sheet is non-binding, it demonstrates how the city, the team and the project’s lead investor, Ron Burkle, will be able to work together to raise the funds for the stadium and begin the construction process.

The new stadium plans surround the team’s push to officially become part of the MLS. With city leadership behind them, Sac Republic managers have been working for years to make the move — but so far to no avail.

In 2018, Sacramento was passed up by the MLS for a team in Nashville, Ten. This year though, it appears to be almost guaranteed that Sacramento will finally secure its spot in the MLS in the next few years. In the middle of April, many expected the MLS to announce whether Sacramento or St. Louis would be winning a spot in the league. To everyone’s surprise, instead the MLS announced it would be accepting three more teams into the league at its Board of Governors meeting in Beverly Hills and said it was entering formal talks with Sacramento and St. Louis for two of them.

It is estimated that the entirety of the building will cost $252 million, and the actual construction would generate between 1,310 and 2,639 jobs while the building of the infrastructure would generate between 108 and 245 jobs.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg reassured the people of Sacramento that the funds for the project would not be coming out of taxpayers’ wallets.

“The proposed term sheet lays out a package of fee waivers, tax rebates, advertising rights to stadium signage and infrastructure financing,” Steinberg said. “All with variables based on some factors that are yet to be determined — speed of development, advertising revenue, estimated taxes, etc.”

On top of private funding, the new stadium is said to present a significant benefit for the city’s development, especially to the areas surrounding it. The 17 acres it would occupy for the stadium racks up an investment of about $1 billion into the city.

Sacramento City Council Member Jeff Harris commented on the beneficial aspects of the stadium — and not just from a fan’s point of view.

“This MLS stadium will jump-start the railyards and redevelopment of the river district,” Harris said. “So, there is benefits galore for the city, in terms of development, tax money we can raise over time, but also, it just serves the needs our constituents.”

Currently, Sac Republic is a member of the United Soccer League, which is essentially a minor league for the MLS. Having dominated since entering the league in 2014, Sac Republic has a culture unlike most other clubs.

Sac Republic’s home stadium is Papa Murphy’s Park located on the Sacramento Fairgrounds. It’s a newly built, soccer-specific stadium that sells out quite often, fitting just over 11,000 fans. One sellout includes the club’s most recent home match on April 27 versus Phoenix Rising.

The electricity buzzing through the stadium continued ceaselessly for 90 minutes, even without a goal being recorded in the match. The smaller sized stadium might possibly be working in the home team’s favor, considering the sheer volume of noise echoing from the crowd. With the immense money and resources billionaire Ron Burkle has put into this organization, it’s become undeniable that Sacramento Republic FC is rapidly on the come up and will be a prime time Northern California sporting event in no time.

Written by: AJ Seymour — sports@theaggie.org


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