SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A group from Sacramento made a strong push that the city is ready to become the home of the latest Major League Soccer team.
Mayor Kevin Johnson and representatives from the USL Pro’s Sacramento Republic FC met with MLS officials in Portland during the league’s all-star weekend events.
Johnson told them that Sacramento can support a second complex if it is awarded an expansion soccer franchise.
“Talk about our fans, talk about our market, talk about our ownership group, talk about our plans to march toward a brand new stadium, and I felt very very good about that,” he said.
CBS13 reported on Tuesday that the Railyards, Downtown Plaza and West Sacramento’s bridge district were possible sites for an MLS stadium
The Republic confirmed on Wednesday that those locations are being concerned, as well as a Midtown spot at 16th and R streets, the docks project along the Sacramento River, the river district north of the railyards and Cal Expo are being considered.
The man catapulting Sacramento onto professional soccer’s radar is Republic team president Warren Smith.
“Warren has always been a step ahead of people,” said former business partner Greg Hayes.
Hayes and Smith worked together to build Raley Field and bring the Sacramento River Cats to town at the turn of the century. They also founded a green energy startup.
Hayes says Sacramento is ready to support two major sports franchises now, even on the heels of almost losing the kings. The new billionaire owners of the Kings have changed everything, he said.
“Money chases money. Having been an entrepreneur, I know how banks are. They’re like sheep. They dont want to invest where no one else is investing,” Hayes said. “The reality is hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested here. Money will follow money.”