By RYAN TOLMICH
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?
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