$100 Million Stadium – Elk Grove Aiming High or Hubris Personified?

Yesterday’s whirlwind of soccer news will undoubtedly lead to a healthy debate in Elk Grove as to whether or not it should expend the reso...

Yesterday’s whirlwind of soccer news will undoubtedly lead to a healthy debate in Elk Grove as to whether or not it should expend the resources necessary to attract a professional soccer team.

While Sacramento announced it will be home to a new franchise in the minor league United Soccer League (USL), Elk Grove Mayor-elect Gary Davis announced that he had a weekend meeting with the commissioner of Major League Soccer (MLS) about bringing an expansion franchise to the city.

The unnamed Sacramento team will initially play at the 21,000 seat Hughes Stadium on the campus of Sacramento City College. The big question for Elk Grove is if the MLS awarded a franchise to a group led by former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, where would they play?

Obviously the city would have to build a stadium to house the team. The Sacramento Bee reported today that “the MLS is known to favor cities that build made-for-soccer facilities in the $100 million range.” Additionally, while the franchise fee for a USL team is $1million, the MLS fee is $40 million.

Would Elk Grove be on the hook for a portion of the $40 million franchise fee vis`-a-vis´ an economic incentive to the Nunez led team? And just how realistic is it for Elk Grove to erect a $100 million made-to-order soccer stadium?

First off, the Elk Grove City Council could arrange this financing without voter approval by issuing revenue bonds. Whether the city could pass financial muster by underwriters is another matter, but they can pursue this type of financing without voter approval.

So the question is this – is the pursuit of a MLS team and construction of a $100 million stadium visionary and a worthwhile endeavor or is this just a rabbit hole for Elk Grove taxpayers?

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Thurston Howell, III said...

My litmus test is: How will a pro soccer team in Elk Grove improve the depressed equity in my home? Show me the money--no more of this "build it and they will come" BS.

Bob S said...

If the city of Sacto has to cater to a "minor league" soccer team, what makes Gary Davis think he can bring a "major league" team to discount city, Elk Grove?

We don't even have a steakhouse here! - "major League anything" here is a pipedream.

A $100,000,000 stadium? Who's going to finance that?

- Just makes us (& Davis) look foolish.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Al Davis--soaks Irwindale for $10 million in 1987

Fabian Nunez--soaks Elk Grove for ??? in 2013?

Larry Tate said...

Darren, I mean Gary Davis, you son of a gun!

Tom said...

The only way it would work is if there were a prison and a casino attached.

Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me Tom. Let's get it done!

Anonymous said...

A 100 Million dollar stadium but we can't spend .5 million for a special election to fill the seat vacated by his honor Gary Davis. Something is wrong here...pure and simply WRONG. If this soccer stadium idea gets off the ground, all of the council members should be recalled. This will never happen in EG...we do not have the population to support such a venture. Hell, we're going to lose money on the pathetic ice rink deal...and you want us to TRUST you with 100 million. You're all as crazy as Mrs. Cravitz.

Anonymous said...

If Fabian Nunez is involved, run don't walk fast.

I knew Davis thinks we are LA. Lets spend.


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