Off the indomitable strength and diligence of city officials, investors, fans and countless supporters, Sacramento’s Republic FC officially announced its expansion as the 29th team to join Major League Soccer (MLS) this Monday with a press conference inside The Bank. Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and California Governor Gavin Newsom joined Republic FC’s majority owner Ron Burkle, co-owner Matt Alvarez and longtime investor Kevin Nagle for the much anticipated announcement.
Great from the get-go, Republic FC has been making its presence felt since its debut season in 2014, when the team won the United Soccer League (USL) Championship. Since then, mostly everyone has had their eyes set on major league dreams, which will come to fruition with a new stadium and inaugural season in February 2022.
“The ‘wouldn’t it be great if’ era is over,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg on Monday. “We are a major league city in every way.”
Received with unadulterated applause, the announcement and its several speeches from the respected group on stage came with a promise that California’s capital and its infamous fans would be heard throughout the country.
“For many years, soccer fans in Sacramento have passionately supported Republic FC and shown that the club deserves to be competing at the highest level,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “Sacramento will join MLS with a world-class soccer stadium that will transform the sport in California’s capital.”
As the historic celebration would continue throughout the day with a block party on Capitol Mall, fans got the chance to revel in the excitement as a community. With the first chance to purchase official Republic FC MLS gear, a variety of kids activities, the strong presence of the Tower Bridge Battalion, appearances by the current Republic FC team and a performance by Sacramento’s own David Garibaldi, spirits were at an all-time high.
“You know, this is a business but it’s also fun and it should be fun,” said Mayor Steinberg. “I think that’s what you felt today with all the fans. This is the good part of life, there’s enough to be down and depressed about in the world, we gotta celebrate some things and this is a great thing to celebrate.”
While groundwork for the new stadium will not commence until the middle of 2020, the Sacramento community is well on its way to standing tall as leaders in world-class entertainment.
For more information on upcoming Republic FC games, events and general information, visit SacRepublicFC.com.
Photos by Cesar Alexander and Steve Martarano