Kings owner purchases stake in Sacramento Republic, eyes move to MLS



If Sacramento Republic FC are to make the jump to MLS in the near future, Kevin Nagle will be the man to help guide them there.

Republic FC announced on Thursday that local business owner Kevin Nagle, who has a stake in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, has joined the USL Pro club’s ownership group. Nagle plans to lead Sacramento’s efforts towards landing an MLS franchise, and will become Republic FC’s largest owner should the move come to fruition.

“I love Sacramento – its community, resilience and potential,” Nagle told the club’s website. “Early on, I admired Republic FC’s success and efforts to galvanize this region; its bid for MLS is not only about sports, but also a shared vision for Sacramento. I am honored to work side-by-side with mayor Kevin Johnson and Republic FC president Warren Smith to procure MLS for Sacramento and demonstrate why this region is built for MLS.”

Nagle is expected to meet with MLS officials when they visit Sacramento later this month to evaluate the area’s viability for an expansion team. He was recently at the MLS All-Star Game in Portland, Oregon, representing both Republic FC and the Sacramento Kings during mayor Johnson’s meeting with deputy commissioner Mark Abbott.

Additionally, Nagle will work closely on structuring an ownership group for a potential move to MLS and building a privately-financed soccer stadium.

“Kevin’s leadership and investment in Republic FC positions us as one of the top ownership groups in the sport,” Republic FC president Warren Smith told the club’s website. “His success, credibility and financial wherewithal provide us the capability to succeed with our MLS bid. But what first endeared me to Kevin and what I love most is his passion for Sacramento.”

Republic FC were founded in 2012 and have enjoyed plenty of success since making their on-field debut earlier this year. They broke the USL Pro record for season attendance in July, as an announced sellout crowd of 8,000 gave them 118,107 attendees this season. Orlando City previously held the record with 112,748.

MLS has announced that it will have 24 teams by the end of the decade, and the 24th franchise is said to be up for grabs by a number of cities.


What do you think of this development? Excited? Expecting Sacramento to make the move to MLS in the coming years?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Amanda Cervantes

    I am so excited being a season ticket holder already and planning on being in the future, it has become a family tradition. I have never attended a sports event or really cared what team one, excet this year with republic I have become a fan and will forever be. Glory Glory Sacramento


  • OB Rick

    Why stop at 24 teams? We have a population of over 300 million people and millions of soccer players. At the rate the skill level is increasing it am not worried about diluting the player pool.


    • Old School

      While I’m not set on a certain amount of clubs, I do think MLS needs to structure into a West Coast and East Coast divisions.

      Garber and MLS are always trying to create rivalries which I don’t believe you can manufacturer. They must be organic. One way to expedite an organic rivalry is by playing close/regional matches against neighboring clubs.

      If we created a league with 30 clubs, 15 in the West and 15 in the East, that is large enough to have a full table of clubs and matches within your own regional division (home and away matches) while leaving some room for inter-division playoffs. I mention playoffs, because MLS and Garber are fans of it and believe our league needs it, though, I would disagree with the end-of-the-year concept of playoffs.


      • Old School

        Sorry, not “inter-division”. I meant against the fellow division (i.e. West vs East).

        For example: the Top 4 clubs from each division are mixed and matched based on seeding within the opposing division and the creation of two pots with the winner of each playing in MLS Cup Final.


      • r.benjamin

        I agree. The best thing for the league would be to create geography divisions. I’ll go with 14 in each. Play home and away inter division. Then rotate five clubs in each year from the other division.

        East winner plays west winner in the playoff.
        I think it would increase the pacific rivalry adding Sacto.

        Adding say SA and Indiana adds more nucleus in those areas.

        Plus u tap into the mid level markets .. speaking for Sac who will go nuts for and “own” their team.


      • Tony

        Why Stop There:

        Currently the MLS season has 34 Games, if we increase the season by 4 games and have it at a 38 game season, the same as the Premier League we could do a 3 Division league (a la the late 90s years)

        West/ Central/ East with 10 teams in each. Have the team play everyone in there division twice (Home & Away) ~18 Games, and play one team from other division once alternating home and away every year~20 Games.

        4 Team Playoff with the winners of each division advancing and the best record left play each other home and away except for the final.

        It would make the regular season so much important.

        Thats just my idea


    • JB

      there is something called promotion/relegation. I suggest you read up on it. All real soccer leagues use it.


      • FSegaud

        yawn…if those leagues started 20 yrs ago, they would say “pro/rel? f*ck that!”.


      • beto

        epl was founded 22 years ago and uses that system…

        far from the same thing, but just wanted to prove you WRONG


      • Eddie

        That’s just it. Stop letting team buy directly in to MLS. Instead of trying to instantly create a top tier team (like in Miami), buy the team at a lower cost and use the rest of the money to invest in facilities and a youth academy and build a fan base. I live in Jacksonville and next year we get an NASL team. So now I will be torn between supporting my home town team or the team down the road (Orlando) who will be making the jump to MLS. With P&R I can support my local club and dream of when the get promoted to MLS.


      • Tom

        Okay, hop in your time machine and warn them: COME WITH ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE

        Or maybe you have a slick transition plan? Okay, post it!


      • Eddie

        the best part of being a fan is complaining without having to do anything about it, but here goes.

        1) MLS sets an ultimate goal for number of teams it wants in the league.

        2) No direct MLS expansion. If you want a team you have to come in at USL or NASL.

        3) Year 1&2 no MLS relegation, 1 team gets promoted. NASL/USL 1 team promoted/relegated
        Year 3+ 1 MLS team relegated, 2 NASL teams promoted. NASL/USL 2 teams relegated/promoted.
        After goal of maximum MLS teams reached all leagues go to 2 teams P&R.

        It’s a pipe dream I know, but hey I am a dreamer.


      • Vic

        Even if relegation/promotion is the best idea and even if Doug Garber agrees with you it still won’t happen. It would require a vote of the majority of the existing owners to implement. I don’t see that happening anytime soon if ever. The best we could hope for is a strong MLS with stronger well funded lower division teams in the future.


      • bryan

        which is a perfectly good model. pro/rel is not the be-all, end-all model. the idea that pro/rel is the ONLY way to build a viable soccer league is naive.


  • Lee Neves

    Something smells like it’s in the works to buy Chivas USA, move them to sacramento and rebrand them as Republic FC….afterall, why would they be calling last week’s game between Chivas and Galaxy “The Final Super Classico”….just throwing that out there….


    • beto

      Makes too much sense. Do it MLS!

      Down the road if they want another LA team that can be done. Right now Sacramento is ready to go


      • Vic

        Whats the point? Right now Galaxy average 20k in a 27k stadium and Chivas barely gets anyone to the games. Why would you want two teams in the same city when so many cities don’t have a team?


      • kevino

        Just need to have the teams in opposite loca tions of sprawling socal, I.e. dodgers and angels


      • beto

        how about when those teams and locations are ready they can come back.. right now having LA2 dragging around is pointless

        if LA deserves a second team then lets see it happen in usl or nasl like it has in sacramento, san antonio, indy, orlando, seattle, portland, montreal, vancouver


      • Pele

        There is definitely a precident! MLS was not ready to abandon the San Jose market when the Quakes moved to Houston to become the Dynamo. Afterward a new expansion franchise was awarded to San Jose start over with the Quakes. We could see be looking at a siilar scenario in Los Angeles!


    • bryan

      not at all. Garber just addressed this yesterday saying the LA2 sale is going well and a decision will be finalized by the end of the year. the guy even asked if Plan B was moving it out of LA. Garber said LA2 was Plan B (implying Chivas USA was Plan A).

      LA2 is going to be in LA. move on.


  • Josh D

    “..procure MLS…” Weird wording.

    That cost for the 24th franchise must be skyrocketing at this point. There’s like eight viable, real candidates at this point.

    MLS’ growth, from a business interest, is astonishing.


  • Nic D "the TX 2 Stepper"

    I too would love to see LA2 move to a hungry market (Sac/SanDiego/Vegas/ElPaso/SanAntonio/Austin/Minn/etc.) that will raise the level of rivalries, tv interest and turn styles turning. That can always come back to LA2 when Beckham gets smart and cashes in with Liewike in A shock LA expansion bid as Hollywood United


  • RK

    What’s Nagle’s background — how much $$ does he have? Sacramento had enough trouble keeping the Kings and finding another ownership group, and I wonder if they have the money to do it with another franchise.


    • bbstl

      If I’m not mistaken, Nagle started a pharmaceutical company. He’s a multi-billionaire, so finances shouldn’t be a problem.


      • bryan

        $3.5B in revenue per year. not sure what the profit margin is and how much comes back to him, but safe to say it’s a lot. well, at least Big Pharma is helping out the league (potentially)…


      • DYCSoccer17

        His company does not make medications, so it is not Big Pharma. From what I can understand, his company saves health insurance companies money by coming up with medication formularies that make it hard for prescribers to prescribe the medications they want their patients to have.


      • bryan

        Light hearted joke man. Envision Pharma Group is the name. Their About Us is available on their website.


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