SACRAMENTO — The announcement is not yet official, but fans of Sacramento Republic FC are reacting to news that their team will be joining Major League Soccer.
Members of the Sacramento Republic FC fan group Levee Patrol have been waiting patiently for Monday’s announcement from the MLS.
“Finally here, so happy,” Levee Patrol member Johnny Kline said.
Back in 2017, the Levee Patrol, along with members of the Tower Bridge Battalion, made the trip with the team and city officials to the MLS headquarters in New York City hoping to secure a bid.
But it didn’t work out back then, one of several disappointments since the team formed in 2014.
“Felt like Charlie Brown going to kick the football. Keeps getting pulled away,” Kline said.
Another Levee Patrol member, Stefan Spich, said it felt like they had to rely on forces beyond their control because there was nothing they could do.
“They finally came through, so I’m relieved,” Spich said.
If the team is coming to Sacramento, Visit Sacramento said more development will also come to the city.
The city council has already approved a new soccer stadium at the rail yard if the city does get a team.
“There’s other things that will pop around because of that. You look at the Golden 1 Center, how many restaurants opened, how much retail has opened in DOCO and just that DOCO neighborhood,” President and CEO of Visit Sacramento and Sacramento Sports Commission Mike Testa said.
Testa said hosting an MLS all-star game could be a possibility.
Fans are aware of the changes that could come along with having an MLS team.
“There’s a little bit of fear that the environment will change. Obviously, it’s going to be more corporate. There’s going to be more money involved,” Tower Bridge Battalion Charter member Daniel Tyree said.
Tyree said he knows it will also attract new fans to Republic games and taking the team to the professional level is what most fans have always wanted.
“For me, I’m a soccer fan. So, I love the idea that we’re going to see the highest level of professional soccer in the United States here in our hometown,” Tyree said.