Reporting Steve Large
ELK GROVE (CBS13) — Major League Soccer moving into Elk Grove?
The league with international superstar David Beckham already has three California teams, the San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA.
The Sacramento region could be next.
“That would be a dream come true to have an MLS team here,” said Brian Montenegro, owner of Soccer World in Elk Grove.
Former state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez is headlining a group of investors looking to own a team.
Wednesday, his partner asked Elk Grove’s City Council to enter an exclusive negotiating agreement to build a stadium, possibly on land by the unfinished Grant Line Road mall. The council voted unanimously to enter the agreement. Financing, development and design are still far off.
“I think it’s got a good shot,” said Dick Hyde of Northern California Soccer, LLC. “Once that’s accomplished, we would then go to Major League Soccer and make a formal proposal for an expansion franchise.”
Elk Grove Councilman Steve Detrick, who just completed his term as mayor, says he likes the idea — as long as taxpayer dollars aren’t at risk. A franchise fee and cost of a new stadium could cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 million.
“If there’s some incentives we can put together, that would be fine, but anything more than that I wouldn’t support,” Detrick said.
Fellow Councilman Gary Davis is already envisioning the crowds.
“I like soccer,” he said. “What I’m most excited about is the prospect of 20,000 screaming soccer fans in the city of Elk Grove.”
It would be a game-changer for Elk Grove. A city that already loves its soccer is now shooting for a pro team to call its own.
Soccer World’s owner thinks it can happen.
“I believe myself that nothing is impossible,” Montenegro said. “For example here, I dreamt it, I worked hard, blood sweat and tears, it comes true.”