Incentive Package Pitched for Sacramento MLS Stadium

Sacramento Republic FC stadium rendering April 2019-2

A $33 million incentive package is being pitched for the proposed Sacramento MLS stadium, with city officials hoping it can bolster the odds of landing MLS’s 28th team.

Sacramento is one of two front runners for MLS’s 28th team, joining St. Louis in the competitive race. The bid in Sacramento has a few intriguing elements, including the presence of billionaire supermarket magnate Ron Burkle as a lead investor, plans for a new stadium as part of a larger downtown development, and years of success for Sacramento Republic FC in Division II USL Championship.

Under the current plans, construction on the new $252 million MLS stadium would be privately financed by the club’s investor group, which would buy 31 acres in the downtown railyard for the stadium and surrounding development while owning and operating the facility. In hopes of bolstering the bid, Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg and city officials are pitching an incentive package that includes fee waivers, tax rebates, infrastructure financing, and more. The $33 million incentive package is to go before the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday. More from the Sacramento Bee:

But Steinberg and city negotiators have agreed to set up a special infrastructure financing district on the 31 acres to capture tax revenue to pay for up to an estimated $27.2 million in infrastructure around the stadium – mainly new streets, pedestrian walkways, a major sewer line and a light rail station.

The team would build the infrastructure. The city then would rebate future increased property taxes from the site back to the team. Steinberg pointed out that the tax revenue would pay for public infrastructure adjacent to the stadium, and would not be available to the city if the soccer team or some other private developer didn’t build on the site and enhance its value.

“The wisdom of the (financing district) is … we help with infrastructure and in exchange we get Major League Soccer and over $1 billion in overall investment,” Steinberg said. “This is the spark that we have needed to take railyard development to another level.”

The city also will provide the team with an estimated $2.4 million worth of permit fee waivers and other tax rebates, and will commit up to $3 million worth of traffic control and policing on city streets adjacent to the stadium during soccer matches.

It was last month that MLS commissioner Don Garber revealed that St. Louis and Sacramento were the two front runners for the 28th spot. St. Louis includes plans for a downtown soccer-specific stadium in its bid, which is led by members of Enterprise Holding’s Taylor family and World Wide Technology CEO Jim Kavanaugh. The group is looking to boost corporate support for its effort.

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