SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sacramento soccer fans are feeling the momentum tonight as a major league franchise dream came closer to becoming a reality.
New investors with the Sacramento Republic FC are poised to make their pitch to some heavy-hitters.
It’s easy to see Sacramento is crazy about soccer.
“Been waiting for soccer to come to Sacramento for a long time,” said Nick Fournier, a fan.
But will MLS officials be crazy about building a franchise here? The president of Sacramento Republic FC says it was a hard sell at first, but now they’ve got a real chance.
“All of a sudden, they saw the attendance numbers we were having and frankly how much support the community has had,” said Sacramento Republic FC president Warren Smith.
Sacramento is now being considered a front-runner for having an MLS team. Two top executives with the MLS franchise will be coming to the city on Sept. 18-19.
Other cities in the running for an MLS team include San Diego, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, and San Antonio.
“We have a lot of 18-34 choosing to live in Sacramento,” said Smith.
Smith says they have to prove market size and that Sacramento is growing. Part of their pitch will be showing the strong young professional network Sacramento has, but also the development projects currently underway.
Attendance at Sacramento Republic FC games has already broken USL Pro attendance records — another goal for Sacramento.
“We’re blessed with a community that cares,” said Smith.
The other important nugget is financing. And with the announcement of Kevin Nagle becoming the lead investor in the team, who will also work to bring in others, Sacramento can now check that off the list.
Kevin Nagle Introduced As Leader Of Republic FC’s MLS Ownership Group
The last thing MLS officials will be looking for is a stadium plan. At this time, the team is still considering multiple locations.
“The three key components are being located near transportation, bars and restaurants, and where the demographic lives,” said Smith.
Smith says they will have everything in place by the time MLS officials visit, including a soccer stadium plan.