SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Papa Murphy’s Park is a thing of the past.
Sacramento Republic FC will start their new season with a new name for their stadium.
Officials unveiled Heart Health Park at Cal Expo Wednesday in partnership with Western Health Advantage.
“The city has a lot of heart, the Republic has a lot of heart, Western Health Advantage has a lot of heart, so it just makes sense on so many levels,” said Western Health Advantage President and CEO Garry Maisel.
Not only is the field getting a new name, but the venue is also making history.
“For the first time we think across the country, a park name has been related to a health issue,” Maisel said.
The new name aims to spread awareness about heart disease, the number one cause of death around the world.
“We’ll launch new programs and initiatives to inspire the community to invest in health and wellness, from teaching lifesaving skills, empowering fans to make healthy choices and beyond,” said Sacramento Republic FC Chairman and CEO Kevin Nagle.
The goal is to make Sacramento a healthier city overall. Officials with the team said they hope their athletes can set an example for fans on how to make healthy choices.
“And so if they can talk to kids about how they keep themselves healthy, how they keep up the stamina to play this incredibly difficult game of soccer, what an example that sets for those kids!” Maisel exclaimed.
As much as officials hope this new stadium name will spark new interest among fans, what does it mean for plans to bring a Major League Soccer team to Sacramento and build a new stadium at the Railyards? Mayor Darrell Steinberg certainly did not shy away from that question.
“As I look at the year ahead, I hope and I am hopeful that today will be the second-biggest soccer announcement we make in this city,” he said.
Nagle echoed Steinberg’s comment, saying they are still working hard to bring MLS to the capital city.
“And I think both of us believe there’s no question that’s going to happen,” Nagle said.
They said they are currently in talks with a number of potential investors.
“And we’ve got a number of interested investors who we are talking to,” Steinberg said. “We’re in communication with the league and we’re working all angles here. And with heart and with head, we’re going to get this.”
Sacramento Republic FC’s season is already underway. Next week, on May 12, they will play their first home game at Heart Health Park with fans in the stands.