It’s the beginning of the pro soccer era in Sacramento, as work as begun on a new $3-million Sacramento Republic FC stadium at the Cal Expo grounds.
The new 8,000-seat stadium follows the blueprint of a new professional soccer stadium these days: a cheering section for Republic FC hardcore fan club, lots of high-tech videoboards and a fan zone. Unique features for pro soccer includes room for food trucks and a dedicated bicycle valet. In an unusual financing move, money for the $3 million facility comes from the team and its concessionaire, Ovations.
The facility will also sport a full 120-yard by 80-yard grass pitch, the better to position the team for moving up to MLS someday. Team officials see the new stadium as a stepping-stone to a move up to MLS and, they hope, a larger, more permanent stadium. Ticket sales at the new Sacramento Republic FC stadium will be key: the goal is to average 6,750 fans per home match, which seems doable when you consider 4,500 season tickets have been sold.
Crews began clearing out the stadium site earlier this week. The team will play its first three games at Hughes Stadium on the Sacramento City College campus before the debut of the new field.