Has Sacto Pulled Out of MLS Quest?

Some of the folks down at City Hall read this article that I tweeted on August 16 and read that the group trying to bring the last MLS expansion team to Sacramento had withdrawn from the competition, increasing the chances that Las Vegas might get the league’s nod. That’s now how I read it, so I went back and read it again this morning.

The article quotes Sacramento’s mayor as saying no public money will go into a new soccer stadium to house any new team.

The Las Vegas promoters, on the other hand, have asked Las Vegas taxpayers (not Clark County, Henderson or North Las Vegas taxpayers) to fund about 70% of a downtown soccer-specific stadium. It would be available for other things besides soccer, but it would be built to MLS standards, specifically for soccer.

But the rest of the article claims the Sacramento soccer stadium can be built with private dollars.

Here’s the full quote from Sac’s mayor:

“I do not have an appetite to provide tax dollars to build a soccer stadium,” the mayor said. “Can it be built without it? It’s possible. Other cities have privately financed soccer stadiums.”

More importantly, the story notes that Republic FC, the leading contender in Sac hasn’t been asking for any public money. Republic FC, which already runs a successful, smaller-league soccer team, proposed a sales tax increase earlier this year, but withdrew the plan after it proved unpopular. So the group has been making its plans using private capital instead.

Sacramento’s mayor notes that California already has two MLS stadiums with no public dollars: one in San Jose, under construction, and The StubHub Center in Carson, which hosts two MLS teams.

Republic FC is still very much in the hunt for the last franchise, it seems.

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