SACRAMENTO (KRON) – After years of trying, Sacramento is officially a Major League Soccer city.
On Monday MLS announced, “California’s capital city has been awarded an MLS expansion team with Sacramento Republic FC becoming the league’s 29th team and beginning play in MLS in 2022.”
The announcement came Monday at The Bank in downtown Sacramento, where crowds came together and cheered with excitement.
Fox Sports soccer analyst Stu Holden, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and investors Ron Burkle, Matt Alvarez and Kevin Nagle attended the special event.
The investor group is led by Ron Burkle, co-owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, also joined by entertainment executive Matt Alvarez and an investor with NBA’s Sacramento Kings, Kevin Nagle.
Burkle went on to discuss this monumental day for the city of Sacramento, “This has been a true team effort between the amazing soccer fans of the Sacramento region along with Mayor Steinberg and City Council, our partners and corporate leaders.”
“We are proud to be part of the team that Kevin Nagle put together, which is made even stronger by an incredibly committed local ownership group. The relationship between Sacramento and our club already is a special one, and I’m committed to deepening that connection for years to come,” Burkle said.
The Major League Soccer commissioner, Don Garber, took the podium and expressed his excitement for this new chapter.
“It is hard to believe that it was over four years ago, when I told Marcus Breton of the Sacramento Bee, that it was less about if and more about when Sacramento was going to join Major League Soccer. Well folks, when is today,” Garber said.
With the addition of the team in Sacramento, 19 clubs have now joined MLS since 2005.
FC Cincinnati joined MLS as the 24th team this season. Nashville SC and Inter Miami CF will debut in 2020 followed by Austin FC in 2021 and St. Louis and Sacramento in 2022.
The league announced in April, MLS plans to grow to 30 teams.