Sacramento City Council Approves MLS Stadium Plan

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SACRAMENTO --

Sacramento's City Council has approved a motion that will pave the way for a new soccer stadium in the old Railyards north of downtown.

Tuesday night, the city and Sacramento Republic FC officials agreed to terms on which party will pay for which costs.

While the city will not use public money to build the actual stadium, according to the agreement, a $100,000 city budget will be set up for consulting costs. The city will use hotel tax revenue for that funding.

Many Sacramento Republic FC fans filed into Council Chambers at City Hall as the council unanimously voted in favor of the development.

"This is about three years in the making for this to happen so far. I mean, it was eventually going to happen, but the crowds are here, the fans are here, and it is a soccer city to the max," said Jacob Monka, a member of Republic FC fan group the Tower Bridge Battalion.

The night began with Republic FC and city staff bringing a preliminary term sheet outlining plans to build the $180 million stadium at the old rail yards, a part of town the city said it has already spent around $46 million in state, local and federal transportation grant money to add infrastructure such as roads and sewers. But the 25,000 seat stadium will be privately financed.

As part of the agreement, Sacramento Republic FC and its investors are on the hook for construction budget overruns and reimbursement costs to the city for security at stadium events.

The club said it could open the stadium as early as March 2018, but that depends on if Sacramento gets a spot in Major League Soccer.

President of Sacramento Republic FC Warren Smith told FOX40 he believes after Tuesday night's vote, it's only a matter of time before his team becomes part of the MLS.

"We've really taking the risk out of it for Major League Soccer. Essentially they've made some choices on some markets, which we totally understand. At the same time, we wanted to prove to them that you are not going to have those type of problems here in Sacramento. We're unified and united and ready to join the league when they're ready for us," Smith told FOX40.

No one at Tuesday's city council meeting spoke against the soccer stadium project.