Sacramento Republic FC has been viewed as a likely MLS expansion candidate, and word of its entry in the league could come sooner rather than later.
The signs have consistently pointed toward Sacramento gaining an MLS expansion franchise. Sacramento Republic FC has found success in the USL, and the organization’s plan for a new downtown stadium (shown above) continues to make progress.
While there are some other factors, including which additional markets it will select, that the MLS will have to consider before continuing its expansion, Sacramento has most of the key pieces in place. That could mean that, by the end of this year, Sacramento will receive some assurance from commissioner Don Garber about its future in the MLS. More from the Sacramento Bee:
First, a committee of MLS team owners exploring expansion is scheduled to meet in New York the second week of November. For that session, MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche said the league is “preparing extensive data on various markets and what the impact of expansion would be on a wide variety of aspects of the league.”
That timing could work out very well for Sacramento.
The city’s planning commission is expected to recommend approval of the environmental impact report for the downtown railyard – including plans for a 19,621-seat professional soccer stadium – at a special meeting Monday. The City Council is scheduled to vote on that recommendation Nov. 10, likely granting key political support to the project as MLS owners explore Sacramento’s viability as an expansion market.
Garber is then scheduled to make a “state of the league” address either Dec. 6 or 7 – and it’s possible he could have something to announce. And if the expansion issue isn’t settled by then, all of the league’s owners have scheduled a Board of Governors meeting Dec. 15 in New York at which they are expected to talk more about expansion. That’s two days after [mayor Kevin] Johnson’s final day at City Hall.
Along with Sacramento, the next few months could see MLS-related developments in other cities. Garber is set to visit Cincinnati in November, Nashville is continuing to build its organization, and there have been some signs of progress for stadium efforts in St. Louis. Of course, markets like San Antonio, Charlotte, Las Vegas, Detroit, and San Diego are among the many others in the mix, so the field remains competitive. Fortunately for Sacramento, the ingredients are there to give it an advantage over other cities.
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