USL club Sacramento Republic FC gave their fans an early holiday present on Tuesday, when the club released the first images of a proposed Major League Soccer stadium designed by architecture firm HNTB.
The release of the renderings, which were launched online at a new website, BuiltForSacremento.com, complete a months-long process in which Republic FC drew information from workshops, focus groups with fans, an online survey completed by nearly 3,500 people and tours of top MLS stadiums and internationally acclaimed venues in Europe and South America.
According to a statement released by the club, the proposed stadium would seat 25,000 and would feature the steepest grade of seats allowed by MLS, a continuous, closed bowl around all four sides of the field and a roof that would wrap around the entire stadium, without breaks.
The stadium draws heavily from Europe and South America. The design for the building’s east stand was modeled after the famed “Yellow Wall” at Borussia Dortumund’s Westfalenstadion, with the lower and upper bowls combined to create a massive wall of fans. According to the club’s statement, the “hinchada” concept common in South America was also incorporated, with the stadium featuring a separate entrance and club for supporter groups, who would be able to watch the match from cantilevered, standing-room-only decks.
“I’m thrilled to unveil a stadium design worthy of our fans and community,” Sac Soccer and Entertainment Holdings managing partner Kevin Nagle said in the club statement. “When we first hired HNTB, we challenged them to design the best home pitch advantage in MLS in a way that would celebrate both Sacramento and the world’s game. Without a doubt, HNTB has delivered.”
The proposed stadium would be built in Sacramento’s Railyards district, with the club estimating that the project would cost $180 million. According to the statement, the stadium could open in time for the 2018 season, though it would only be built if Republic FC gains entry into MLS.
Sacramento Republic FC will present the Sacramento City Council with a preliminary term sheet outlining a public-private partnership for the stadium on Tuesday night. According to a report in The Sacramento Bee, Republic FC have said that they will privately finance construction of the venue, though they are planning on asking the city for $46 million in infrastructure improvements at the Railyards site.
The same report indicated that Republic FC officials will travel to Columbus for this weekend’s MLS Cup.
MLS currently has 20 clubs, and has plans for four additional teams – Atlanta United FC, Minnesota United FC, Los Angeles FC and a Miami franchise owned by David Beckham – to join the league in the coming years.
"Congratulations to Sacramento Republic FC on the release of new stadium preliminary renderings that offer an exciting glimpse into the future of downtown Sacramento,” Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson said in the statement.
“Time and again, Sacramento has proven that we are a community, a Republic, that delivers and let there be no doubt that Sacramento is ready for Major League Soccer."