Republic FC Have a New Home, For Now

The Cal Expo board has approved plan to have new facility constructed
by Frankie Devai   |   Tuesday, March 04, 2014

SacSoc – column on the Sacramento soccer scene.

After a few months of deliberation, the Cal Expo board has voted to approve the deal it had reached with Ovations Fanfare to build a brand new 8,000-seat stadium on its grounds. This is welcome news for Sacramento Republic FC officials and fans of the team who had been anxiously waiting to see where the team would be playing for the foreseeable future.

What is Cal Expo?

Cal Expo hosts many business and trade events, in addition to the annual California State Fair. For Cal Expo itself, this new facility provides a viable location for larger concerts and events that it had not previously been able to host. Also, by adding the Sacramento Republic and sporting events like high school championships, Cal Expo aims to eventually feature sporting events almost year-round. Tournaments of different sports could also find a home at the new facility. Rugby, for example, was also mentioned once or twice as a possibility.     

Going forward

The expected completion period on the new venue is 2 to 3 months. This is also a best-case timeline providing the weather co-operates. If things go according to plan, SRFC will be playing on the new stadium’s full-grass pitch by mid-Spring. However, even if the Cal Expo project is completed ahead of schedule, the team will play its opening home matches at Hughes Stadium. 

In a wise move, Republic FC and Sacramento City College have jointly announced that Hughes Stadium will be hosting up to 3 matches to start the USL PRO season. The precautionary arrangement can be extended in the event that delays occur with construction over at Cal Expo.

The school was going to host all of the Republic’s home matches originally, but the differences between an American football field and a field for futbol proved too difficult to resolve in the long term.

SacSoc – column on the Sacramento soccer scene.

In the short term, this deal will be perfect for both the team and the college. The team will have a local venue to call home until the field at Cal Expo is finished, and the school can generate new ticket and concession sales which is always welcome.

SCC has released a statement welcoming the team and said they have already begun preparations to accommodate the large crowds expected to attend the matches. Republic FC officials themselves have announced at least one match will be played at Hughes Stadium on April 26th.  

The Search Continues 

Republic FC still dreams big and will continue working on securing an even more permanent location in downtown Sacramento.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the team said, “The Facility at Cal Expo is temporary. We can't wait for when we find the perfect spot in the downtown core for the future soccer specific stadium.”

A location that’s just for SRFC would greatly enhance their future MLS bid and nicely demonstrate that the team maintains lofty goals. For the time being, the Republic has secured itself a home base with great potential. 

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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