After Sacramento submitted a bid this week for an MLS expansion team that did not include USL side Sacramento Republic FC, Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg on Saturday announced an agreement in principle for Sacramento Republic to be acquired by Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings, the company behind the submitted bid.
If Sacramento is awarded an MLS expansion team, it will be under the Sacramento Republic FC name and brand.
According to a release on the agreement, the acquisition is intended "to present a united front to Major League Soccer during the upcoming expansion process."
“I am extremely pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement in principle that ensures Sacramento Republic FC will be the future of MLS for Sacramento. I thank all involved for their commitment to our city and for putting the public first. By working together, we have the strongest bid and are committed to ensuring Sacramento Republic FC becomes the next MLS team,” said Steinberg in the statement.
The agreement in principle, which is expected to be finalized in writing in the coming weeks, came after two days of negotiations between the mayor's office, Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings, and Sacramento Republic.
In the meantime, Republic's current ownership group, led by Warren Smith, will continue to own and operate the USL team until a team would enter MLS. If that happens, SSEH and its chairman and CEO Kevin Nagle would become owners of the MLS team. And SSEH and Nagle will spearhead efforts for the Sacramento expansion bid to MLS.
Sacramento is one of 12 cities to submit an official application for an MLS expansion team this week. Two expansion teams are expected to be announced by Major League Soccer in 2017, to begin play for the 2020 season.