Mayor Seeks Clarity on Sacramento MLS Expansion Bid

Sacramento Republic FC stadium rendering

In recent comments, Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg called on MLS to present a specific financial level Sacramento MLS expansion backers need to reach to be awarded a team. 

Last month, MLS moved forward with the selection of Nashville as a successful bid but announced it would hold off on decisions regarding other expansion proposals. Along with Nashville, Sacramento Republic FC factored into a group of finalists that also included bids from Detroit and FC Cincinnati. All of those pitches face their own questions, but the specific concern for Sacramento is whether its expansion group can obtain enough financial backing to receive a team.

Steinberg addressed this situation recently, suggesting that MLS should provide a specific amount that Sacramento needs to reach to move forward with its expansion bid. He also called on MLS to grant Sacramento an expansion club if it can reach its target investment level. More from CBS Sacramento:

Steinberg says he’s asking MLS Commissioner Don Garber to name a dollar figure for Sacramento’s investor group to hit and if the investor group reaches it, he’s asking the commissioner to award Sacramento a team, regardless of what other cities present the league.

“We want to be in that separate category where if we meet the equity requirements, then we get a team,” Steinberg said.

A spokesperson for MLS told CBS13 he did not have an immediate comment and said he was looking into the mayor’s proposal.

“We need to know exactly what it’s going to take to get awarded the franchise,” Steinberg said.

Prior to MLS’s decision to select Nashville and hold off on future selections, Sacramento was seen as having some major advantages, including city approval for a new downtown stadium and Republic FC’s successful track record in the USL. When it was revealed that Sacramento’s bid would require additional financial backing, Republic FC CEO Kevin Nagle laid out what has to happen before the city receives a future expansion team. That included finding a new major investor, along with additional limited partners, and boosting community support.

As it stands, MLS still has major decisions to make regarding expansion. Along with addressing the statuses of Sacramento, Detroit, and Cincinnati, the league will look to make progress with David Beckham’s pitch in Miami, the future of which could become more certain over the coming weeks.

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