SACRAMENTO – The city of Sacramento may be a step closer to getting a Major League Soccer team.
Friday the city and Sacramento Republic FC announced an agreement on the terms to build a new stadium in the city’s Railyards.
The mayor, members of city council and team administrators held a press conference this morning announcing the terms.
The agreement was part of a check list given to the team and city from MLS. It’s something they had to work out before the league would award Sacramento with a pro team.
However, if they don’t give the OK for the Republic to go pro, the development may not happen.
“Come out to Sacramento and make the grand announcement that our city will be the next Major League Soccer city in America,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said during a press conference.
Steinberg says this new agreement between the city and Sacramento Republic FC is one of the final steps to bring MLS to the railyards.
“We don’t have a guarantee of course, but now we can pivot a 100% to Major League Soccer and say what I said, that you gave us a check list a year ago, we have not only checked every box. We have done so in a most impressive way,” Steinberg said. “We are making a reasonable investment that protects the tax payers that doesn’t have us writing a check.”
Steinberg says the city will invest $33 million of tax payer money into infrastructure in the area but that the $252.2 million new stadium will be privately financed, as will the development of 17 acres surrounding the stadium site.
“The benefits astronomically outweigh the costs,” the mayor stated. “For that $33 million, we get a billion dollars worth of investment.”
The mayor and other city leaders see the stadium project as an attraction needed to finally transform the railyards; a goal which has been four decades in the making.
However, the deal is all contingent on Republic FC being awarded a Major League Soccer franchise.
“And we heard from the commissioner, and the league loud and clear, what they felt we needed to do, we went out and did it,” said Kevin Nagle.
Nagle, CEO of Sacramento Republic FC, says the addition of principal owner and investor Ron Burkle, who is also co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, will help the team secure that bid to join the pros.
“He’s got the financial capacity of everybody else in the league, and at the same time he’s built Stanley Cup winners,” Nagle stated. “I believe we’re going to be selected.”
The city council will vote on the agreement during its meeting Tuesday night.
Mayor Steinberg told FOX40 he believes it will pass unanimously.
The MLS Board of Governors will meet on the 18th in Los Angeles to discuss expansion.
Steinberg says he plans to attend that meeting.