Sacramento Waiting on Important Stadium Vote

Republic awaits crucial vote to determine where they will be playing while in USL PRO and possibly in MLS
by Frankie Devai   |   Friday, February 28, 2014

SacSoc – column on the Sacramento soccer scene.

As their inaugural season approaches, Sacramento Republic FC finds itself with many things yet to accomplish, and winning matches is pretty far down on the to-do list. Unfortunately the biggest problem, which is the location of their home matches, isn’t one they can solve themselves.

The original plan had been to play all home matches at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium. This was initially announced when the team was introduced last year.  The college has multi-million dollar football field and seating capacity for 20,000 people. However, a football field is much narrower than a soccer pitch. Hughes also features permanent yardage lines and markers. While these things are perfect for the college’s football purposes, it’s not ideal for soccer.

Problems such as these aren’t great for any serious soccer team. But these issues are downright unsuitable for a team with aspirations of vaulting itself into more competitive leagues. Decisively, Major League Soccer themselves suggested finding an alternative place to play that was a bit friendlier to professional soccer. The team has sought other options, but has still maintained a friendly relationship with SCC.

In a possible solution to these problems, fans turn their attentions to Cal Expo, which is a sprawling location with acres of parking space and is a relatively quick drive from downtown Sacramento.

Executives for Cal Expo and Ovations Fanfare, the group that runs concessions and refreshment stands on the State owned property, have a tentative agreement in place to erect an 8,000 seat stadium on Cal Expo grounds. This agreement will see a final approval vote occur on Feb. 28.

Optimistically, the Republic’s front office has made arrangements to become tenants within the new facility. It’s expected to boast some impressive dimensions, with a 120-yard by 80-yard field that will be entirely of natural grass. The kind that suit international and MLS matches.

Ovations Fanfare is owned by a parent company called Comcast Spectator. These are big boys with big pockets which is a nice endorsement of the local area by a national company. Ovations will oversee construction and financing of the estimated $3 million facility, with some money chipped in by Republic FC itself.

For several months Cal Expo officials have been able to review the proposal set forth and soccer fans all across Sacramento hope for good news. 

Frankie DEVAI

Nationality:
USA
College:
Sierra College
Club Domestic:
Sac. Republic FC
Club Foreign:
FC Barcelona
Having a Brazilian father and German-American mother, Soccer is life. Lifelong passion, played in High School, but retired before college. I enjoy the game at all levels but am focused on Sacramento Republic. Lefty like Messi, except for the skills.
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