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Report: Downtown Soccer Stadium an Economic Plus

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SACRAMENTO --

A report on the economic impact of a 22,000 seat soccer stadium in downtown Sacramento could provide the catalyst to rejuvenate the Sacramento Railyards.

"The Critical Mass Report" was generated for the Downtown Partnership, a business organization of downtown businesses. It is one of the key components of an effort to bring a major league soccer team to the city.

But the stadium would also host other events such as high school football, rugby, youth soccer and concerts, which will bring 500,000 visitors a year.

Currently streets and lighting have been installed, but after decades of planning and failed projects, there is not a single business in the railyard development site. But interest is high judging by the increased number of phone inquiries by investors and developers.

"So if it's going there, what are the streets that are going to be adjacent to it, what's going to be available in terms of retail, what's going to be available in terms of opportunity sites?" said Michael Ault, executive director of the Downtown Partnership.

The report says a stadium could generate $30 million in economic activity each year, including tax revenue that would go to the city and county. That is on top of the money generated by the new downtown arena where the Sacramento Kings will play.

The report will help convince Major League Soccer to select Sacramento as an expansion site. The next step is to present a construction and financing plan for the construction of the stadium, which Sacramento Republic FC hopes to open in 2018.