As reported by Tony Bizjak and Marcos Breton from the Sacramento Bee late Tuesday, Sacramento is expected to be announced as the 29th Major League Soccer expansion team at a public announcement set for next Monday.
Other local media outlets have since confirmed the Bee’s initial report. It seems now the only thing left is confirmation from MLS, which could come as early as Wednesday.
Sacramento has been trying to years to get an MLS team. When the Republic won the USL championship in the team’s debut season, which also set league attendance records, fans chanted “MLS! MLS!” during the trophy ceremony.
The Sacramento ownership group started pre-construction on the stadium site for an MLS team in 2017 and said the stadium could be ready by 2020.
But stadium construction and development of the planned site had been put on hold as MLS weighed its decision, and now the stadium is expected to be ready by 2022. The Republic released new renderings of their planned stadium in April.
When the news is made official, it will bring to a close year of Sacramento fighting to gain entry in the upper echelons of soccer in the United States.
From Warren Smith, Joe Wagoner, and Erika Bjork to Kevin Nagle, Ben Gumpert and Ron Burkle and so many other amazing people in between, it has taken a village to bring this thing to fruition.
At the heart of this bid though is the fans, who for six seasons supported Sacramento Republic FC. They proved Sacramento was a soccer town, filling Papa Murphy’s Park with 10,000 plus fans each match.
Coupled with some big investors who believed in Sacramento, and some super-smart people behind the scenes, here we are Sacramento. At the cusp of something special for our city. Our future.
There will be much more to share in the coming days, weeks and months that follow. We can’t wait for Monday and look forward to bringing you full coverage. This is what we have all been waiting for, and you can bet we will be celebrating like hell come Monday.