SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Major League Soccer is set to announce its next expansion franchise next week, and the announcement won’t be made in Sacramento.
FC Cincinnati confirmed it is in line to become the league’s 26th team.
The news had fans in Sacramento feeling a bit bummed out.
“It would be great to have an MLS team in the area,” said Carter Giroux a Republic FC fan, “it would make a lot of sense in my opinion.”
The city of Sacramento and Republic FC have been preparing for years to become an MLS member. Even going as far as to hold a “groundmaking” ceremony at the Railyards last year.
“The work we start today is critical to protecting the vision,” said Republic Owner Kevin Nagle in July of 2017.
The stadium land has been approved and set aside to be the future home of Republic FC. It will now have to sit a little longer.
“Not happy about it man. Not happy about it one bit,” said Giroux.
Today’s news means a potential economic boom to Cincinnati explained Joe Cobbs with Northern Kentucky University.
“It also can change the calculation a little bit about how people think about Cincinnati,” said Cobbs.
In Sacramento, the wait continues.
“We’re going to have to keep waiting it out and see what happens,” said Giroux.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg reaffirmed his confidence on Thursday saying in a statement, “we control our own destiny and are firmly in the game.”
The issue is a lack of deep-pocket investors to cover rising franchise fees. Last month, team owner Kevin Nagle said talks with potential whales were going well.
“As far as what’s going on with investors and MLS, we have three to five groups we’re working on at various stages. Very serious,” said Nagle.
Earlier this year Mayor Steinberg said he was working on a side deal to ensure a bid eventually.
“We want to be in that separate category where if meet the equity requirements, then we get a team,” said Steinberg.
Cincinnati joining the MLS brings the league team total to 26 by the year 2020. Major league soccer has said it would like to expand to 28 teams, but there is no timetable for when that will happen.