Reports: Sacramento In Line For Next Major League Soccer Expansion Team
Sacramento, California, appears poised to be the next city to get a Major League Soccer expansion team — not Charlotte. News reports say an announcement is scheduled for Monday, with Sacramento's mayor and representatives from the minor league Republic FC attending.
The news comes as Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper continues his push for an MLS team.
Sacramento would become the 29th team in the MLS, and would begin play in 2022. The league named St. Louis in August as the 28th team, and has said it plans to add one more team in the coming years.
In a statement on social media Tuesday, Republic FC said: "We share the great excitement and anticipation in our community about Sacramento’s bid to join Major League Soccer. We will continue to respect the MLS expansion process and remain confident about the future of our club and our city. We look forward to sharing more information in the days ahead."
The Sacramento Bee newspaper and local TV stations quoted unnamed sources saying Monday's announcement would be about an MLS franchise. The news outlets said a public fan event will be held later in the day.
In April, the club released renderings of a planned MLS stadium.
Tepper and the Panthers have met with MLS executives to make a pitch for bringing top-level soccer to Charlotte. Tepper is asking for up to $200 million from the city for an MLS team headquarters and upgrades at Bank of America Stadium.
The Charlotte Business Journal reported Wednesday that the Panthers and Charlotte city government are exploring the idea of locating an expansion team headquarters and training site at the city-owned Eastland Mall site. That potential deal would cost $100 million of taxpayer money, CBJ reported.
MLS has issued no timetable for choosing a 30th team.