SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento is currently home to the NBA’s Kings, the Republic FC of the United Soccer League and the River Cats, a Triple-A Minor League Baseball team in the Pacific Coast League.
California’s capital city was home to various pro teams throughout the years and here is who used to call Sacramento home.
Before the River Cats came into town in 2000, Sacramento was home to the Solons, a Minor League team that was founded in 1883. The Solons played in Sacramento until 1976 and played their games at Hughes Stadium at Sacramento City College from 1974 to 1976.
Edmonds Field served as the Solons’ home from 1936 to 1960, which is when the team moved to Hawaii. The field no longer exists and a Target is currently located at the site on Broadway and Riverside Boulevard in Land Park.
The Solons name is derived from Sacramento’s status as a political city due to it being California’s capital. Solon was used a synonym for senators by journalists, as the term comes from Solon, an early Greek Lawmaker.
The Sacramento Monarchs were one of the WNBA’s eight original franchises and remain the only professional sports teams to win a championship in Sacramento.
The Monarchs won their only championship in franchise history after defeating the Connecticut Sun 3-1 in a best-of-five series in 2005. Sacramento returned to the Finals the following year but fell 3-2 to the Detroit Shock.
During their time in Sacramento, the Monarchs were one of the league’s most successful WNBA franchises, making the playoffs every year from 1999 to 2008.
The Monarchs’ last season was in 2009 and their complete dissolution occurred after the Maloof Family, who also owned the Kings at the time, decided to no longer operate the franchise.
The league attempted to relocate the Monarchs to the Bay Area, but a new ownership group wasn’t found and the team ceased operations.
Sacramento Mountain Lions
The Sacramento Mountain Lions were a professional football team that competed in the now-defunct United Football League.
The team was originally called the California Redwoods and played their home games in San Franciso and San Jose before calling Sacramento home. The Redwoods played their games at AT&T Park in San Francisco and Spartan Stadium in San Jose in 2009.
Paul Pelosi, the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, served as the majority owner of the team.
The team officially relocated to Sacramento as the Mountain Lions in 2010, where they would play until 2012 when the league folded. The Mountain Lions played their home games at Hornet Stadium in 2010-11 and moved to Raley Field in 2012.
The late Dennis Green, who previously coached the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals in the NFL, served as the Redwoods/Mountain Lions’ head coach from 2009 to 2011.
The Sacramento Attack existed for one season in the Arena Football League, playing their home games at ARCO Arena in 1992.
In their only season, the Attack went 4-6 and lost 48-23 to the Detriot Drive in the playoffs.
The team was supposed to play in Los Angeles as the Wings but never played a game in Southern California after the AFL didn’t “live up to its part of the contract,” team president Jim Hartman told the LA Times in 1992.
The Attack relocated to Miami in 1993 and moved again to Florida in 1996. Operations of the team were ceased in 2001.
Sacramento Gold Miners
The capital of the Golden State used to be home to a team in the Canadian Football League in the 1990s.
The Sacramento Gold Miners was the CFL’s first American team, playing its home games at Hornet Stadium at Sacramento State. The Gold Miners were also the first American team to host a CFL game, losing to the Calgary Stampeders 38-36 on July 17, 1993. Their first official win came against Saskatchewan Roughriders in a 37-26 victory on July 24, 1993.
The team played only two seasons in Sacramento.
The Gold Miners finished the 1993 season at 6-12 and were 9-8 in 1994.
Owner Fred Anderson wanted an upgraded facility for his team and after it didn’t come to fruition, he moved the team to San Antonio as the Texans for the 1995 CFL season.
Another professional football team that used to call the “City of Trees” home is the Sacramento Surge, which played for two seasons in 1991 and 1992.
The team played in the World League of American Football (WLAF) and hosted games at Hughes Stadium and Hornet Stadium in separate seasons.
The WLAF was later renamed the NFL Europe League, a spring league that ceased operations in 2007. During its inception, the WLAF had seven teams in North America and three others in Europe.
Sacramento was one of six American cities with teams in the league and was the only squad on the West Coast.
In their second season, the Surge won the World Bowl, defeating the Orlando Thunder 21-17 at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Professional wrestling legend and WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg was on the championship team as a defensive lineman. Goldberg later went on to play for Gold Miners in 1993 before joining the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons in 1992.