New Sacramento MLS stadium rendering - Sacramento Republic - expansion candidates

MLS expansion contenders Sacramento Republic FC released new and updated renderings of their planned downtown stadium on Tuesday, providing another tantalizing glimpse of the impressive facility that undergirds their bid to be the next team welcomed to the league.

Already shovel-ready, the soccer-specific venue will now also feature a 360-degree pedestrian concourse walkway, new canopy-level seating on its west side and expanded field-level seating.

“I can tell you without a doubt that when it opens, it’s going to be one of the most unique, exciting arenas in MLS,” Gerardo Prado of architectural firm HNTB told the Sacramento Business Journal. “It’s going to be quite an experience.

“It’s a more social environment for fans,” he added. “The roof terrace is definitely an important amenity that will make a big difference.”

The stadium will hold as many as 25,000 spectators and is the centerpiece of a 31-acre plan that also includes an entertainment district, and the club and city are ready to begin construction immediately should Sacramento be awarded an expansion bid. Already budgeted at $180 million, the new upgrades are expected to push that figure further upward.

“The new renderings demonstrate our continued forward progress on our MLS bid and how much work is taking place behind the scenes,” said Republic FC president & COO Ben Gumpert in a statement.

“The additions to the existing stadium design provide an even better fan experience, including 360-degree circulation and lookout points from our stadium to our river and our downtown skyline. This has always been about building something that showcases the best of Sacramento and that remains core to our design.”

The 2014 USL Cup champions, Republic currently play in the USL Championship at Papa Murphy’s Park and were a finalist in the last round of MLS expansion.

FC Cincinnati entered MLS this season as its 24th team, with Nashville SCInter Miami and Austin FC set to join over the next two years.