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Sacramento Puts Best Foot Forward For MLS Expansion Bid

Al Gibes / Capital Public Radio News

Al Gibes / Capital Public Radio News

Representatives of Sacramento Republic F-C, the Sacramento Kings, and the City of Sacramento met with Major League Soccer officials today to discuss the possibility of Sacramento earning an expansion franchise.  

After the meeting, Republic F-C Team President Warren Smith said all parties have a reasonable understanding of what needs to be done.

"Ultimately, they've been open and honest about what we need to accomplish and that is: one, prove the market and be relevant; two: representative ownership group that they like sitting around the table with; and three: a stadium solution that works for them."

The team has been examining a half-dozen sites around Sacramento as possible locations for a stadium.  Smith has always made clear his preference for a stadium downtown, at the Railyards, or in West Sacramento.

Kings President Chris Granger says the makeup of an ownership group must be decided before there's any move forward with stadium plans.  Such a group might include Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive.

"Vivek has long talked about sort of the globality of sports, and basketball certainly fits into that. Soccer fits into that. So right now, we're just having conversations and see what works for both sides can determine that in relatively short order, but it's relatively early in the process right now."

Although, the Kings had not publicly made their support of Republic FC known until this week, the two organizations are already quite intertwined.  A  handful of people own shares in both the basketball and soccer teams.  

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson says he was very encouraged by the talks.

"Today we gave them enough to whet their appetite and I think when they come out to Sacramento we're gonna give em a full four-course meal."

The MLS Vice Commissioner and staff have committed to visiting Sacramento at the end of September. 


Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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