Recent Developments Heighten Optimism for Sacramento Major League Soccer Bid

Back Photo gallery Apr 12, 2019 By Steve Martarano

It has been a head-spinning past two weeks for Sacramento and its five-year bid to become the next Major League Soccer expansion team.

On April 2, after new lead investor Ron Burkle and his partner Matt Alvarez replaced Kevin Nagle in January, Sacramento Republic FC released updated design renderings of its planned stadium in The Railyards downtown.

The developments continued three days later, when Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced an agreement between the city and the team on the terms to build the stadium. The preliminary term sheet — including the city’s commitment to provide $33 million in fee waivers, tax rebates, advertising rights and infrastructure financing — for construction of a $252.2-million privately-financed stadium was unanimously approved by the Sacramento City Council on April 9. The goal is to complete the stadium within two years of receiving an MLS bid.

The league released a statement immediately following the vote: “Major League Soccer is pleased the Sacramento City Council unanimously approved the preliminary term sheet for construction of a new soccer stadium at the Railyards site should Sacramento be awarded an MLS expansion club. We look forward to continuing our discussions with Ron Burkle and his partners regarding possible MLS expansion in Sacramento.”

Sacramento’s attention now turns to April 18 and the MLS Board of Governors meeting in Los Angeles, where the league will discuss which city, reportedly either Sacramento or St. Louis, will receive an expansion team. A decision by the league could come soon after.

Sacramento, which joined the United Soccer League in 2014 and has been trying to move up to MLS since 2015, will be sending a contingent to Los Angeles, with the city optimistic about finally landing the 28th MLS team.