NORTH AMERICA

MLS Expansion: Sacramento Republic is the 29th team


The capital city of California, Sacramento, has been selected by the Major League Soccer (MLS) for an expansion team.

Sacramento Republic FC thus becomes the league’s 29th team as they are scheduled to start playing in the MLS from 2022.

As part of their preparations, the new franchise are expected to build a new, $300 million, 20,100-seat soccer stadium in the downtown Railyards District.

There are 24 teams competing in the 2019 season, with Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC joining in 2020 followed by Austin FC in 2021. St. Louis were also announced in August as the league's 28th team and will join MLS alongside Sacramento in 2022. This follows the league’s announcement in April to raise the number of competing teams to 30.

“Major League Soccer continues to grow throughout North America and we are so proud to welcome Sacramento as our newest team,” Garber said in a statement. “For many years, soccer fans in Sacramento have passionately supported Republic FC and shown that the club deserves to be competing at the highest level. Thanks to the determined efforts and commitment of new owners Ron Burkle and Matt Alvarez along with the leadership of Mayor Darren Steinberg, Sacramento will join MLS with a world-class soccer stadium that will transform the sport in California’s capital.”

Ron Burkle, a technology, retail and hospitality entrepreneur, movie producer and owner of NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, is the club's lead investor. He's joined by Matt Alvarez, an entertainment executive and producer, while longtime Sacramento area business leader and current Sacramento Kings investor Kevin Nagle remains a central member of the investor group, a position he has led since 2014.

“Sacramento’s selection by Major League Soccer for an expansion team is a victory to be celebrated by everyone in our community,” said Burkle. “This has been a true team effort between the amazing soccer fans of the Sacramento region along with Mayor Steinberg and City Council, our partners and corporate leaders. We are proud to be part of the team that Kevin Nagle put together, which is made even stronger by an incredibly committed local ownership group. The relationship between Sacramento and our club already is a special one, and I’m committed to deepening that connection for years to come.”

Sacramento Republic joined USL in 2014, when the club won the league title in its first year of existence while turning heads with attendance numbers. Two years ago, the club received commitments for more than 10,000 season tickets for the proposed MLS team.
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