SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Saturday night is not just opening night at Papa Murphy's Park for Sacramento Republic FC, it's the official start to the two-year countdown for the team as they ramp up to join Major League Soccer in 2022.
Republic FC held its final practice Friday ahead of the team's seventh season in Sacramento.
“The team's feeling sharp. Everyone's fresh, ready to go,” said Republic FC midfielder Sam Werner.
“But now it's the real deal, right?” said head coach Mark Briggs. “Now points are on the table and now the intensity of everything ramps up a little bit.”
Now the front office has a different set of goals in front of them.
“At the end of the day, we have one goal and that's to build the best darn stadium and the best darn experience, more importantly, that represents this community,” said Republic FC President and CEO Ben Gumpert.
In order to do that, Republic FC has hired Elevate Sports Ventures, an experienced advisor in the professional sports world.
“Their primary focus of Elevate will be alongside of us throughout the sales process,” Gumpert told FOX40. “That includes naming rights and sleeve partners and our founding partners at the stadium, as well as suites and loges and other premium products, and club seats that we're going to have that really no other stadium has ever had before in this way.”
With season ticket sales for the new stadium already at around 75% sold, Elevate Sports Ventures will concentrate on corporate sponsorships. They will also advise on hiring decisions for a franchise that is expected to have three times as many employees when it joins MLS.
“We’re going to be bringing on a whole variety of partners and world-class partners locally, regionally, nationally to make this project what it could be. Our fan base will continue to grow,” Gumpert said.
Construction of the team’s brand new 20,000-seat stadium will start to really pick up in the next three or four months ahead of its debut in February of 2022.