Republic Loses Friendly to Quakes, Fans Roll Out in Full Force

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Sacramento Republic FC returned to Bonney Field at Cal Expo on Saturday, to host their MLS affiliate San Jose Earthquakes in a friendly preseason match.

The team's popularity has club managers adding seats and giving fans hope Sac Republic could soon become part of Major League Soccer.

The game ended in a Republic loss, one to nil, but that didn't ruin fan's excitement for the upcoming season.

After Republic FC won the United Soccer League, or USL Championship last season, some fans told FOX40 they needed more season tickets this year.

"I bought two [season tickets], I enjoyed it so much, we had so much fun, I ended up buying 6, so we have 6 (season) tickets," said fan Dave Walker.

And the club prepared Bonney Field to accommodate larger crowds, expanding the north bleachers to now seat about 4,300 people.
Those who sit in the section say the improvements were desperately needed.

"Very, very overcrowded last year. And the stadium was lower and it was a little bit more shakier," said Margie Sanchez, who sits with the Tower Bridge Battalion fan group in the North Bleachers.

"One of the requests our fans had for us last year was more seats, we felt it was important so it was one of the investments we made going into this season," said Erika Bjork, Sacramento Republic FC Vice President of Marketing & Communications.

Bjork said the expansion will continue. Monday Bjork said crews will be adding another 1,100 seats to the west end, and once the season starts March 28th against LA Galaxy II, Bonney field will be able to hold 11,00 people.

And Bjork believes next Saturday's game against the New York Cosmos could help the team's effort to join the MLS.
It's the only Sac Republic game which will be at Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College.
Hughes Stadium has more than twice as many seats as Bonney Field, with over 20,000 seats.

"We should be the next MLS franchise, and the best way to send that statement to the league is to pack 20,000 people at Hughes," Bjork said.

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