In a major step in the city’s MLS pursuit, the Sacramento City Council has approved a new stadium and adjacent development for Sacramento Republic FC.
After being approved by city’s planning and design commission in October, the stadium and development was sent to Sacramento’s city council. The stadium and mixed-use development will occupy the former site of the Sacramento downtown railyard, bringing activity to the 244-acre land.
Earlier this week, two labor groups–Sacramento Labor Council AFL-CIO and UNITE Here Local 49–sent a letter of opposition to the city council, criticizing the Republic for failing to formally approve organized food-service unions to work at the stadium. However, team and labor union officials indicated on Thursday night that an agreement will be reached, with the Sacramento Labor Council withdrawing its opposition.
For the Republic, the stadium’s approval bodes well for its hopes of joining the MLS. More from the Sacramento Bee:
The approval of the $226 million soccer stadium came at a key time in Republic FC’s quest to earn an expansion spot in Major League Soccer. A committee of MLS owners exploring potential expansion cities met earlier this week in New York and the league’s full ownership board is expected to discuss expansion again in December.
Republic FC managing partner Kevin Nagle said team officials briefed MLS Commissioner Don Garber on the team’s progress within the past week.
“(The stadium approval) passes another milestone in the road to MLS,” Nagle said. “Sacramento has never been closer to MLS.”
Along with the Republic’s success in the USL, Sacramento has built its case for an MLS franchise largely around this project. With the other pieces in place, the council’s approval of the plan certainly solidifies the hope of Sacramento joining the league as an expansion franchise.
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