Sacramento may have moved a step closer to one day entering MLS, as the Sacramento City Council approved a proposal for a development project that would include a new soccer stadium at the city's historic downtown railyard.
The approval of the environmental impact report, which came on Thursday according to a report in The Sacramento Bee, could help clear the way for USL club Sacramento Republic FC to make the jump to MLS in the future. Republic, which have played in USL since 2014 at nearby venue Bonney Field, have proposed building a new soccer-specific stadium in the railyard site as part of a proposal to move to MLS.
In addition to the stadium, the development proposal includes plans for a new medical facility, housing, offices, museums, hotels and parks.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber visited Sacramento in April, announcing then the league's plans to expand to 28 teams with the next round likely starting in 2020. Garber indicated Sacramento Republic is a prime candidate to be a future MLS expansion team.
“We hope and really we expect that Sacramento will be one of the next four [teams]," he told an assembled Sacramento crowd in April.
“The last piece of that is the process of that and the timing of that...is still to be determined,” he added. “But the good news is, I’m very, very impressed and excited by everything you guys have done.”