Sacramento Republic FC have submitted a bid to be one of the next four MLS expansion teams, but aren't staying idle while they wait to hear if they will be selected.
On Thursday, the club, led by chairman and CEO Kevin Nagle, welcomed Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg and more than 100 business and civic leaders, as well as fans, with a "ground-making" event at the location for the new stadium.
The location, at The Railyards section of Sacramento, featured construction equipment getting to work to prepare the site for the construction of the stadium, which has already gained local government approval. This phase one of the project will set the stage for the "groundbreaking," which is tabbed to begin in Spring 2018 with actual construction of the facility.
“As the saying goes: actions speak louder than words,” said Nagle in a statement. “In that spirit, Republic FC and the people of Sacramento are making our strongest statement to date with the start of stadium construction at The Railyards. We believe in our fans, we believe in our stadium plan, and we believe in our destiny as an MLS city. I’m excited to reach this milestone, and know our team and our community are ready to work harder than ever to #BringItHome.”
The stadium plan is projected to cost $245 million, privately financed, with initial capacity for 20,000, to expand to 22,000. The construction project is also expected to kick off a wider redevelopment project of the area, projected to double the size of downtown Sacramento in the process.
Sacramento is one of 12 cities to have formally submitted a bid earlier this year to become an MLS expansion team. The first two teams are expected to be named some time in 2017.