Major League Soccer announced in a statement Friday that due to issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic Ron Burkle has decided not to move forward with the acquisition of an MLS expansion team in Sacramento.
The city was awarded an expansion team in October 2019 and had been due to begin play in 2022 before that date was pushed back a year due to the early impact of the pandemic in 2020. Burkle was the lead investor in Sacramento Republic FC, and spearheaded their efforts to join MLS.
MLS will work with Mayor Darrell Steinberg to evaluate possible next steps for MLS in Sacramento.
Read the full statement from MLS below:
Earlier today, Ron Burkle informed the League that based on issues with the project related to COVID-19, he has decided to not move forward with the acquisition of an MLS expansion team in Sacramento.
After working for many years to bring an MLS team to Sacramento, the League continues to believe it can be a great MLS market. In the coming days, the League will work with Mayor Darrell Steinberg to evaluate possible next steps for MLS in Sacramento.
"I want to thank Mayor Steinberg for his continued efforts to bring MLS to Sacramento," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "His commitment to the city and delivering for its passionate soccer fans should make all citizens of Sacramento proud.
"Interest in owning a club in Major League Soccer has never been higher. And I remain incredibly optimistic about finalizing expansion plans for our 30th team."