By CAITLIN MURRAY
Sacramento isn’t part of Major League Soccer, but the ownership group behind Sacramento Republic FC thinks they have a plan to change that.
The Republic announced Wednesday its ownership group has signed a letter of intent with downtown railyards property owners to acquire land for a proposed MLS soccer stadium. The announcement comes the day before MLS executives will visit the proposed stadium site.
The property is currently undergoing the first of five phases of improvements with plans for housing, offices, shops, an arts center and other amenities by the 2020s. The first phase, infrastructure improvements of $350 million, will be completed next year.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Larry Kelley in our efforts to save the Kings,” said Republic FC lead investor Kevin Nagle in a press release. “But now, we get to build something together. The Railyards is a once-in-a-lifetime project that will transform our city and region. The soccer stadium will serve as a catalyst of this development and be a key attraction for recruiting a vibrant workforce to live, work and play in our city.”
Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbott and Charles Altchek, a special assistant to league Commissioner Don Garber, will visit the area on Thursday and Friday. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has said the MLS stadium would be privately financed.
The Republic continue their run in the USL Pro playoffs this weekend and have consistently drawn capacity crowds all season. The club set a new USL Pro single-season attendance record in July, with five weeks left in the regular season. They are competing with San Antonio, Las Vegas and Minneapolis, among other cities, to be granted the lone remaining MLS expansion slot currently available.
See more preliminary renderings released by Sacramento Republic FC below: