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Sacramento Kings join Republic as investor in MLS push

Sacramento Republic FC (SacRepFC)


Sacramento Republic’s bid to join the ranks of Major League Soccer has received a major infusion of cash.

The ownership group of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, led by Vivek Ranadive, has made an investment in the USL Pro club with aims in making a move to MLS.

“Vivek and the Kings have brought visionary leadership to Sacramento,” said mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. “They are the perfect partners for the City of Sacramento and Sacramento Republic FC in this transformational opportunity.

“All of us are building Sacramento into a city that will set the example for the way sports and culture interact with American cities in the future.” 

Republic FC, who made their debut in 2014, won the USL Pro championship in the club’s inaugural season with a 2-0 victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Sacramento, along with Minneapolis and Las Vegas, have made a major push to join the ranks of MLS, which is expected to have 24 teams by the end of the decade. As part of the Republic’s “Built for MLS” campaign, the club has nearly 10,000 ticket deposits for the upcoming season.

“We shared early on our desire to have the Sacramento Kings a part of our efforts to secure MLS for Sacramento,” said Republic managing partner Kevin Nagle in a statement. “Their investment in Republic FC, and support of our bid for expansion rights, is just one more reason why we are ‘Built for MLS.’ ”

What do you make of the Kings’ investment? Do you expect Sacramento to be granted an MLS team and if so, how would they fare?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I know Miami is a far bigger market and much more high profile but it’s a terrible sports town, arguably the worst sports town in America, along with ATL. They couldn’t care less about MLS and won’t support their team if they get one. Meanwhile, Sacramento is desperate for MLS, already has a fanbase that has demonstrated its support, just added a new investor and has the support of local government. Sacramento has to get an MLS team!

  2. The sooner they come up with a full plan, the better. If they announce stadium funding, location and groundbreaking, just give them a franchise already. They are out-orlando-ing orlando.

  3. Sacramento has all the pieces, but MOST IMPORTANTLY it has proven fan support, which neither LV, Minny, or Miami have.

    Sacramento will sell out every game in a 22,500 seat downtown stadium. Guaranteed. MLS just needs to make it happen

    • This. Even though, as a Kings fan, I don’t know if I would consider Vivek “Let’s try a 4 man defense” Ranadive as a positive (he does have a ton of money, though).

    • I totally agree with the line of thinking that Sacramento has proven fan support, but they have consistently sold out 8,000 tickets… 22,500 is way more than can be guaranteed. The only reason Miami is still in the conversation is because Beckham is involved and his wife probably wants to live in Miami for a few years, but just like the Mutiny the fan base isn’t there to support a franchise. And Las Vegas is just not practical… no one is playing in 100+ weather… although it would be a good lead up to the World Cup in 2022.

      Here is the real question that will determine whether Sac Republic have a chance at moving to the MLS… Can they give Garber no other alternative but to accept their entry into the league? Garber has spouted so much bs about requiring a stadium, a ridiculous entrance fee, strong leadership, etc., and time and time again he (and by proxy the league) has made exceptions. For Christ’s sake, NYCFC is playing on a baseball field!!! This isn’t 1996!!! So, Sacramento has to force the issue even more publicly… check all the boxes and show that all the boxes are checked!

      The only thing I think that Sac Republic is missing is an academy system worth note. The idea of moving to MLS is sexy for investors, Youth Academy are not sexy (not unless you’re a Penn State coach). Get investors to build a premier youth academy and that gives a leg up on the rest of the competition.

    • If Sacramento gets a team, they need to do it right. Stop building 20,000 seat stadiums.

      Sacramento needs to build a 40,000 World Class stadium at the old rail yard. Also Sacramento gets too hot in the summer so it needs to be fully covered or have a retractible roof… anything less of a stadium keeps MLS 2nd rate

    • This is no joke. Add to that the thousands of jerseys, hats, etc that will be on display around the area everyday. The cross marketing with the Kings will blanket the city.

    • This is the truth. Add in the thousands of jersey’s, hats etc that will be floating around town. The cross Kings/Republic marketing will blanket the area.. all leading to two new downtown stadiums.

  4. When reading about the visions of owners and investment groups of Republic FC, Minnesota and Las Vegas, it’s laughable that Miami is still even being talked about.

    • I’m a little ignorant of the Las Vegas ownership group, but yeah, Sacramento and Minneapolis are really starting to look like no brainers. San Antonio may be a great choice as well. Maybe one day Miami will come around, but why is MLS so bullish on that project at the expense of two perfect candidates.

      Really, I’m not a Miami hater either. If they get their act together down there, I’d be really excited about that market’s potential. I just feel like we have 2-4 markets that are further ahead right now.


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