In a tweak to plans for a Sacramento Republic FC stadium project, city officials voted Tuesday to approve a $27.2 million loan to jumpstart work on related infrastructure.
On October 21, MLS announced that it had approved Sacramento as its 29th team. At the center of Sacramento’s bid–which is led by billionaire Ron Burkle, backed by a contingent that includes entertainment executive and producer Matt Alavarez and local business leader Kevin Nagle–are plans for a new $300 million soccer-specific stadium that will anchor the redevelopment of Sacramento’s downtown railyards.
Construction of the stadium will be privately financed, though the Sacramento City Council voted in April to approve a $33 million incentive package for the plan. More recently, there has been discussion of the city changing the incentive package to allow the ownership group more flexibility, including a conversion of part of the package to a loan.
Those plans moved forward this week, as the city council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve plans for a $27.2 million loan to the club. Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg spoke favorably of the plan, believing that it could help accelerate activity on the project site while offering no risk to the city. More from KRCA.com:
“Instead of allowing the folks investing in the railyards to collect the $27 million over time, we would loan them the resources upfront so they can get a faster start,” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “And then, we get paid back dollar for dollar the money we have loaned. So, it’s zero risk for the city.”
The city is loaning the money upfront. If costs exceed the loan, the soccer group would be on the hook and seek reimbursement through future property taxes in the area. Steinberg said this is zero risk for the city.
“You have to invest in order to increase the tax base and that’s exactly what we’re doing with the soccer (stadium) and the railyards,” he said.
City staff will now work with club investors to develop the loan terms, which will be presented to the city council at a future meeting. Sacramento is one of two expansion teams expected to launch in the 2022 season, as MLS announced in August that it had approved a bid from St. Louis that includes plans for a new downtown stadium that will anchor surrounding development.
RELATED STORIES: Sacramento Republic FC Approved as MLS Expansion Team; Business Community Anticipates Sacramento MLS Stadium Project; Report: Sacramento Officially in Line For MLS Expansion Team; Sacramento MLS Expansion Backers Working to Finalize Deal; Garber: No Decisions on Next MLS Expansion Clubs; Sacramento MLS Expansion Bid Backers Eager for Potential Approval; Incentive Packaged Pitched for Sacramento MLS Stadium; New Sacramento Republic FC Stadium Renderings Released; Sacramento MLS Expansion Backers Continue Their Push; Sacramento, St. Louis Front Runners for 28th MLS Team; MLS Stadium as Cornerstone to Sacramento Development; Mayor Pitches Incentive Package for Sacramento Republic FC Stadium; Ron Burkle Announced as Lead Sacramento Republic FC Owner; Sacramento Republic FC Still Pursuing Additional Investors; Sacramento Republic FC Courting Ron Burkle as Investor?; Next MLS Expansion Decision Could be Made After 2018 Season Begins; Sacramento Republic FC in Talks With Potential Lead Investors; Sacramento Republic FC Continues Pursuit of Investors; Mayor Seeks Clarity on Sacramento MLS Expansion Bid; MLS Expansion: What Comes Next?; Best of 2017, #4: MLS Expansion; Sacramento MLS Bid Requires Additional Backing: Nagle; No More MLS Expansion Decisions Until 2018; MLS Expansion Candidates Being Evaluated This Week; MLS Expansion Finalists Make Their Cases; MLS Expansion Pitches to be Heard Wednesday; Four MLS Expansion Finalists Announced