Sacramento Republic FC founder Warren Smith and investor Kevin Nagle have patched their differences, leading to a united front behind a Sacramento MLS bid that now stands an excellent chance of succeeding.
Nagle had submitted an expansion bid earlier this week through his Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings corporation and not under the Sacramento Republic FC name. Smith had built Sacramento Republic FC from an expansion USL team playing in a temporary stadium to an organization with city support of a new stadium on the verge of landing an MLS expansion team. Nagle, a key investor behind Sacramento Republic FC who also brought in a boatload of big-name investors–the 49ers’ Jed York, H-P’s Meg Whitman–and helped propel the organization toward a move to MLS.
But there never was a final agreement between Nagle and Smith, leading to a rift between the two. And that rift became public when the MLS bid was submitted and Sacramento Republic FC was omitted. The omission didn’t sit well with Smith, it didn’t sit well with the Sacramento Republic FC supporters group, and it reportedly didn’t sit well with some in MLS management, who made the decision to give Smith and Nagle to come to an operating agreement.
Which happened last night after 12 hours of negotiations run by Mayor Darrell Steinberg. In the end, it will be Smith running Sacramento Republic FC, with the name used in the MLS bid and Nagle taking control should the MLS bid be successful. Here’s the announcement from Steinberg:
Thank you everyone, especially Kevin & Warren for coming together with me these past two intensive days. ⚽️#BuiltForMLS pic.twitter.com/aVaGtfUuuF
— Darrell Steinberg (@Mayor_Steinberg) February 4, 2017
Sacramento has been considered a leading contender for an MLS expansion team for months now, meeting every checklist item — strong ownership group, solid stadium plan, market support — set forth by the league, as officials there will review 12 bids for four expansion teams in coming years.