SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento will have to wait for a Major League Soccer franchise after the league awarded a team to a group in Minnesota.
Even with the USL Pro Sacramento Republic’s record-setting crowds, an ownership group pledging several hundred million dollars for an MLS team and plans for a privately financed stadium, MLS opted for Minneapolis’s larger market for its new franchise.
Republic founder Warren Smith was part of the community effort to keep the Sacramento Kings from moving out of town.
When asked whether Sacramento seems to always need to do more than the other guy, Smith said, “Whether its MLS, or a company we’re trying to attract to a region, there’s just a stigma that Sacramento carries.”
But Sacramento’s underdog status is one Smith embraces.
“Sacramento is showing itself, and showing itself in a very very big way, and we’re doing so because we are the underdog and we know that we have to fight together and come together,” he said.
Smith says the MLS assured him it’s not a matter of if, but when Sacramento will earn a franchise. Until then, the Republic will keep playing to win.
Smith says MLS hasn’t indicated when they may add a new round of expansion, but he said it’s possible Republic ownership may try and build a stadium at the railyards for their USL Pro team.