M.L.S. Adds Sacramento as League’s 29th Team

M.L.S. Adds Sacramento as League’s 29th Team

Major League Soccer announced Monday that Sacramento Republic F.C. would become the league’s 29th franchise.

Sacramento, which will begin play in the league in 2022, is the third expansion team granted approval by M.L.S. this year. In January, Commissioner Don Garber announced the creation of a new team in Austin, Tex., that grew out of an agreement to keep the Columbus Crew in Ohio, and in August he revealed that another team would be coming to St. Louis as the league’s 28th franchise.

The Sacramento team’s ownership group is led by the investor Ron Burkle, an owner of the N.H.L.’s Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as the entertainment executive Matt Alvarez and Kevin Nagle, an investor in the N.B.A.’s Sacramento Kings who had begun the push for an M.L.S. team in 2014.

The addition of Burkle and Alvarez to the ownership group earlier this year accelerated negotiations. Sacramento Republic currently plays in the lower-tier U.S.L. Championship league.

The group’s plans include a new $300 million soccer-specific stadium on a 14-acre site downtown. The team has already secured commitments for more than 10,000 season tickets, it said. And UC Davis Health has signed a multiyear deal to become the sponsor of Sacramento’s jerseys once the team joins M.L.S.

“We always believed in the city and always really had faith in this community as one that would support our league and come out and add to all the passion and momentum that we have for our league,” Garber said.

The Republic currently plays at the 11,000-seat Papa Murphy’s Park and has regularly sold out matches since moving to the stadium in 2014.

Garber first visited Sacramento in 2016. A group led by Nagle submitted an expansion bid in 2017 that was later withdrawn. A new bid was submitted in April.

“Soccer has gotten to a point now where I think you hit the turning point, where I think it’s going to be one of the top two or three sports in America,” Burkle said. “And this was a chance for us to be part of that growth.”

Major League Soccer has expanded by 17 teams since 2005. F.C. Cincinnati joined the league this season. Nashville and Miami are set to start play next year, with Austin F.C. coming aboard in 2021. St. Louis, which was awarded an expansion team in August, is scheduled to begin play in 2022 alongside Sacramento.

Sacramento will be the fourth team in M.L.S. based in California, joining the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles F.C. and the San Jose Earthquakes.

Source link

About The Author

We report the News from around the Globe. Please support our advertisers.

Related posts

Leave a Reply