SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As Sacramento tries to pick up the pieces of its collapsed Major League Soccer deal, the club’s president and CEO also announced he is stepping down Monday.
“I would say, it was time for me,” Ben Gumpert said.READ MORE: Towering Rocklin Officer Didn’t Need Ladder To Save Senior Inside 2-Story Home
Gumpert said he will take on an advisory role with the team.
Billionaire Ron Burkle pulled out of the deal Friday and has not publicly explained why.
CBS13’s Steve Large asked Gumpert how the MLS expansion plan unraveled.
“The perception was that the deal was done but reality was that there were some things left undone,” Large said.
“I mean, clearly it’s impossible to look back and say ‘oh hey if we knew everything that we knew now,’ or exactly how this was going to play out, but frankly that’s not how it works — that’s not how life works,” Gumpert said.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg would not say exactly why Burkle balked, noting the financing deal was a private transaction. Ron Burkle could not be reached for comment.
Steinberg did talk to him at length a day before the deal officially collapsed.
“It became pretty clear that there was one issue after another,” Steinberg said.READ MORE: Sacramento Parents Questioning Homecoming Vaccine Requirements
The touted MLS stadium plans had become a symbol for more downtown Sacramento resurgence, and a railyards revival.
Swipe through renderings of the proposed stadium.
Large asked the mayor if the downtown investors were misled.
“If investors are wondering if it was…a good bet to invest in Sacramento? The answer is yes,” Steinberg said.
Steinberg says he plans to look for a replacement investor for Burkle.MORE NEWS: Multiple Big Rig Crash Closes I-80 Near Nevada State Line
Burkle isn’t the only billionaire to back out of financing Sacramento Republic in its quest for an MLS team. Before him, Meg Whitman had also agreed to invest, before she backed out.