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City To Push Ahead With Soccer Stadium Despite MLS Setback

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Sacramento's current soccer stadium, Bonney Field at Cal Expo, home of the minor league Republic FC.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Major League Soccer has left Sacramento out of its current expansion round. But city leaders say they'll push ahead with the proposed soccer stadium anyway - to be ready when the league does come calling.

Mayor Kevin Johnson acknowledged that Major League Soccer has chosen Miami and Minneapolis over Sacramento for its two expansion teams.

“Were we disappointed? Yes,” Johnson said at a City Hall news conference Tuesday. “Were we surprised? No. But we think the work goes on. There’s a lot of things that we can do,” especially when it comes to the city's proposed stadium site at the Railyards, just north of downtown.

The mayor says the stadium permitting process will move forward - as will efforts to develop the rest of the Railyards.

“We want to be in a position - the moment the MLS says that Sacramento’s ready to come online, we’ll have our shovels in our hand and we’ll be ready to dig,” Johnson said.

The MLS indicated this week it is interested in another round of expansion. Johnson says the league has said it's not a matter of "if" Sacramento gets a team ... but "when."