WASHINGTON — If you liken Sacramento’s effort to build a soccer stadium in the city to an actual soccer match, Mayor Darrell Steinberg is now playing in stoppage time.
The clock is ticking up and the mayor can taste victory.
“We just need the final OK from MLS over the next weeks and couple months and then this and even better,” Steinberg told FOX40.
Steinberg and a delegation from the Capitol-to-Capitol program took a tour of D.C. United’s Audi Field Tuesday afternoon. It’s a 20,000 capacity stadium built in 2018 in an older rail district of Washington, D.C.
Audi Field took years of effort, much like Sacramento’s efforts to build a soccer stadium in its Railyards following two failed bids to make Sacramento Republic FC an MLS franchise.
“If you don’t go through some ups and downs and experience the low moments, then when you ultimately win, it isn’t a sweet as it should be and this is going to be very sweet,” Steinberg said.
But before Sacramento counts its blessings, a lot of work remains to be done. According to Verna Sulpizio with Visit Sacramento, that includes continuing to build the infrastructure to support another stadium.
“We want to create this space that is a critical mass to give people something to do. And it’s not just, ‘We want to go to a game,’ but you want to go to a game, you want to eat, you want to shop,” Sulpizio said.
Sulpizio’s part of the Capitol-to-Capitol team focused on bringing more hotels to Sacramento. She says to attract visitors we need places for them to stay. That’s part of a larger plan centered around a soccer stadium.
“What the Golden 1 arena has done for Sacramento, it’s been a huge catalyst,” Sulpizio said. “So, we can see the exact same thing would happen with the element of an MLS stadium in the Railyards.”