Elk Grove City Council To Discuss New Multi-Million Dollar Pro Soccer Stadium

When the Elk Grove City Council meets this Wednesday night, the item that will undoubtedly be of most interest is the unveiling of an analy...

When the Elk Grove City Council meets this Wednesday night, the item that will undoubtedly be of most interest is the unveiling of an analysis completed last October laying out the city's plan for up to a $100 million-plus professional soccer stadium.

The study, which was performed by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSLI) was commissioned after the city entered into a four-year Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Northern California Soccer, LLC, (NCS) in Dec. 2011. The study analysed the financial feasibility of recruiting a professional soccer team from either the Major League Soccer or North American Soccer League.

Possible professional soccer stadium sites in Elk Grove. (Click to enlarge.)
The city staff's report notes "The study indicates that the Elk Grove region can support either league’s annual operations assuming that the City bears the capital costs related to the stadium; however, the MLS is a higher-risk model and the NASL is a lower-risk model. The franchise fee and stadium costs for MLS are four to five times more costly than NASL."

According to the staff report, the study recommends a 120-acre site for a stadium, which it estimates would cost about $9 million. Depending on the size of stadium constructed, that cost could range from $40 to $100 million.

In a television interview yesterday Elk Grove Mayor Gary said the city already has a preferred site for the proposed stadium - next to the unfinished Elk Grove Promenade shopping center. Construction of the shopping center stopped abruptly five years ago this summer and has become an albatross of sorts for the city. 

"By having a soccer stadium here that brings 500,000 people, that generates $15 million in investment in the city annually," Davis said. "This will enable us to get this mall built and some other economic activity happening around it." 

The study, which the city council will discuss this Wednesday, is dated Oct. 19, 2012.

Subsequent to the completion of Elk Grove's soccer study, the City of Sacramento and Mayor Kevin Johnson announced last December that a professional team with the United Soccer League will start play at Sacramento's Hughes Stadium in 2014. The study did not mention Sacramento's professional soccer foray or any implications it will have on Elk Grove's fledgling soccer endeavor.  

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Anonymous said...

Who is going to be held responsible when the city defaults on the revenue bonds? Gary Davis?

With a high rate of interest on revenue bonds, that 100 million could easily turn into 150 million plus!

It appears that Davis is pushing this through. Delusions of grandeur perhaps? Why else did the City of Elk Grove sit on this study that was completed last October? Waiting until Davis was Mayor, could take center stage here and play the big man?

Where is the second opinion from an independent consulting firm on this feasbility study?

Of course, the firm the City hired is going to tell them what they wanted to hear.

But who get left holding the bag when it all goes South?

John said...

It sounds the previous poster has something against Gary Davis. This stadium will be a good thing for Elk Grove.

Billy Bats said...

Ok John, how specifically will this help The average Elk Grove taxpayer?

Forrest....Forrest Gump said...

Let's see if I understand this.... Sacramento has committed to a USL pro soccer team for 2014 and Gary Davis and the city want to build a stadium for "ANOTHER" pro soccer team?

Elk Grove has the funding and capital in place to build a $50 to $100 million stadium facility for a second pro team?

Someone is on drugs!

Hell, we can't even keep our "Sacramento" pro basketball team here (in an arena that holds just 14,000).

Stupid is as stupid does.

Anonymous said...

Gary Davis is putting his hubristic ambition to make a political name for himself before the best interests of our city.

Is Davis going to bail out the City of Elk Grove when we go bankrupt? No, he wll be long gone!

Connie Conley said...

I think we need to look long and hard at this project. We cannot just jump right in. The risk is too great. Other cities are feeling the pain and I don't that for Elk Grove.

One Google search and I found this article:


Silent Dogood said...

Is this the same firm that told the City that they would make money on the ice skating rink?

How did that work out? Yes, it was a nice attraction to Old Town but it lost money. Now the City wants to take this same reasoning to a much larger scale?

Billy Bats said...

So John, have you had a chance to think about how the average Elk Grove taxpayer will benefit from a pro soccer stadium. My question is sincere and I hope you can give some concrete reasons why we should go forward on it. I think a healthy dialogue on this would be good, and who knows, maybe you can address or quiet some of the naysayers that troll this site.

mp2633 said...

A soccer stadium has tremendous upside if done orrectly. How does this benefit Elk Grove residents?

Money - the adage you have to spend money to make money is true. Elk Grove is losing dollars to Sacramento, West Sacramento and Roseville as people, including Elk Grove residents are going elsewhere for their entertainment.

If done correctly a multi-use facility will entice soccer fans for sure but it can also be used for other events. Raley Field and the Stockton Arena are examples.

A nationwide youth soccer tournament can be held. Roseville did this with their softball complex which brought in 1 million for their city last year.

Employment - Hopefully the stadium can employ, for the most part, Elk Grove residents who will spend their dollars in Elk Grove.

A new stadium and especially if the mall can be built should support an increase in property values.

The new mall, especially if able to attract high end retailers will compete with Roseville Galleria (how many Elk Grove residents have gone there to shop?) or the Paladium mall in Folsom. Keep Elk Grove dollars in Elk Grove and and have outside dollars come into Elk Grove.

Again, I believe there is tremendous upside if done correctly.

Anonymous said...

The Sac Bee did an article on this today. Interesting that were no quotes from the city. The Boy Wonder's interview with Channel 10 may have gotten him into hot water because he tipped his hand on how he is voting before the public hearing?

Nunez is quoted multiple times. Says he will find an investor group, but the city needs to pony up some money to show they have some "skin in the game". What about him? He's just a middle man with no skin in the game. What will his cash haul be when this whole shenanigan is finished?

Lynn said...


I guess Stockton is doing well; bankrupt, so I wonder is their stadium bringing them out? How about the bonds?
Malls and Arenas are not known for increasing the surrounding property values.
At the peak of the market no high end retail department/smaller stores were signed...just considered.
So this is how the city is lighting the fire under HHC to complete the Mall using our tax dollars for kindling?
Done right?...ok how about the monies spent on the design of the civic center. This could of been done better but public comment was ignored and our leaders went full steam ahead on spending staff time, community out reach, and then the design for this. I am glad that you are confident the leaders here are able to do something right with our tax money.
Plus, I believe recently the mayors of the cities were going to unite to build our region together instead of individually chasing tax dollars. Maybe this last thought was just for the campaign season.

Anonymous said...

With Elk Groves robust economy and high end retail this can be nothing but a GO for Elk Grove. Just issue some Bonds and build the darn thing! That's not to mention those high end jobs associated with a Sports Complex.

Billy Bats said...

MP, Not to belabor the point, but you are talking in very broad brush strokes as did John earlier.

For the sake of argument, lets say the stadium gets built. What sort of jobs do you envision? Peanut and beer vendors at the stadium and servers jobs at new chain restaurants that might open.

Sure, this will bring tax revenues, but what about some quality jobs instead.

There is no disrespect in these jobs, however they are not likely to produce a living wage. The workers for these jobs probably cannot live in the area and will have to commute. It might create, jobs, but at what expense - more commuter traffic, worsening air quality, more health-care subsidies for the creation of low paying jobs?

If the city wants to address the well documented jobs to houses imbalance, lets work to bring jobs that provide living wages, health benefits - not low wage part time service jobs lacking benefits.

mp2633 said...

Wow! Billy, Annonymous and Lynn...you made me cry (smile- I'm joking).

Seriously, you all make good points. Elk Grove's economy is stagnant. Yes, we will have to repay bonds. Believe me, I'm not happy about these facts either.

No...A stadium complex will not employ many people at a living wage. Maybe it provides a second job for someone who needs it to make rent.

Billy - I totally agree we should also be working to bring quality jobs into the area. Elk Grove has to provide some incentive for business to locate or relocate here and I'm talking social amenities such as great schools, housing, entertainment, access to shopping etc..Could a stadium be part of this?

Lynn - the arena in Stockton is one of the bright spots in that area. And no it is not the answer to Stockton's problems but I don't believe it's hurting Stockton either (I could be wrong). I believe you are correct that stadiums are not known for rasing property values, I mispoke on that SLAP ME! (not really -smile)

Anything to be built has to be designed and we have to pay for that. Agreed our City leaders could have further considered public input - not to excuse them but at some point they have to move forward. Not everyone will be happy with whatever designs are conjured up and waiting for everyone to be happy simply means inaction. I don't believe the region will ever come together to "share" monies. I do believe there is something Elk Grove can do to keep and attract dollars rather than people leaving here to use their entertainment and shopping dollars elsewhere.

I believe this is a good discussion. All of you make good points and hopefully I don't appear too far off the mark. Keep it going. Thanks

Anonymous said...


Billy Bats said...

The one thing that truly mystifies me is how we went from planning a modest realistic softball complex that at least one operator was willing to build to pursuing a professional soccer team.

The softball complex, though not my ideal of economic development, certainly exposed taxpayers to far less risk and could have provided a steady and less volatile stream of tax revenue.

Does anyone know what has happened to the softball complex?

Lynn said...

I ask why does this have to be built with taxpayer dollars? And should tax payer money be spent on land...the city is selling/just sold surplus property. If this stadium is so profitable then the private business sector most certainly could fund it and put the money down now. I believe we should just see how the 3.3 million incentive to bring jobs out of sac to elk grove pans out before we give away money for a stadium. If what the stadium did for Stockton is their bright spot...well I think the Stockton taxpayers would feel the sunshine if there city wasn't bankrupt. It is very easy for someone with no money in the game to say they will bring a team. How much has this business venture cost taxpayers already?

Anonymous said...

I am not quick to judge this project, but instead am trying to have a more informed approach. I read the Sac Bee article this morning regarding the concept. My first thought was: the article definitely had a "positive" attitude towards the idea. But what really caught my eye was the following:

"An ownership group led by former state Ass. Speaker Fabian Nunez and Sac sports attorney Richard Hyde signed an exclusive agreement with Elk Grove in December 2011 to pave the way for the franchise and stadium." Talk about putting the cart before the horse. What was type of commitment was made with this exclusive agreement?? Why was the public not involved in this process? If I recall, Stockton HAD a minor league soccer team and it folded. My kids attended several games with their soccer team and loved it, but ultimately, it did not survive.

The point or idea that a mall will be completed due to a stadium being built nearby is extremely misleading. The retail industry is not driven by the population of sporting event attendees. They are a transient/ inconsistent group of buyers who would visit the mall more for food amenities, rather than extensive large clothing purchases. A retailer is made or broken by the holiday shopping cycle, and a professional stadium does not provided a consistent traffic flow that provides these purchases.

Finally, WHY A PROFESSIONAL stadium??? A large venue for youth sporting events/tournaments or recreation leagues would be a more viable, dependable revenue generator. There are many youth sporting teams (soccer, baseball, softball, LAX, Rugby, volleyball, aquatics, etc.) that travel to many destinations, both near and far in order to participate in tournaments. Now THAT would be more appropriate for our community. Thousands of $$ leave this community for youth sports EVERY weekend... from Cherry Island, to the Sacramento Softball Complex, Mather Sports Park, Granite Sports Complex just to name a few... why should we not get involved in this type of sporting revenue opportunity? This approach is a more feasible opportunity. And the only "skin in the game" is Elk Grove's and we are accountable only to the community of Elk Grove, not outside investors who may relocate their team to another town, or even worse, a professional sporting venture that may go bankrupt.

If you travel anywhere in the state, and start up a conversation about youth sports, Elk Grove is a name you will hear. Love it, or leave it, but Elk Grove has a very large, very talented pool of young athletes. We are a heavily recruited community for a large variety of sports, to a large variety of colleges, or professional sporting opportunities. Why should we not further promote our youth to a bigger stage??

Anonymous said...

This will not be a youth sports mecca as the demographics age and they have to move out of town to college or jobs. What about the other part of the population? Why don't we work on other cultural amenities instead of chasing the almighty buck!

Anonymous said...

All these comments....wonder how many will attend the City Council meeting to deliver their comments in person? Just wonderin'...Council has taken advantage of the apathy in this city for a long time...

Paul said...

Some of these comments are a real hoot! Low paying jobs are better than no jobs, and there will always be kids in this city. I think it would be better if it was aimed more at youth soccer. I do like the idea of concerts being help there.

Hayseed Plowboy said...

Paul, Jobs are jobs, true, but somehow I suspect it won't be you filling these low wage entry level jobs or trying to support a family on the wages they will offer.

Don't we deserve something more than 270 part time seasonal jobs on our $100 million "investment". With all due respect to you Paul, you are subscribing to a "race to the bottom" mentality. We ought to be shooting for something more meaningful, more lasting if we are going to issue $100 million in bonds.

Connie Conley said...

It is a bit disturbing by all the news articles, that our leaders and their consultants are taking the top down approach instead of starting with the smaller soccer complex, spending tens of millions less, to get soccer tournaments booked in our city.

We are a youth soccer city; and that should be the first focus. That demographic is already in place.

Paul said...

Hayseed Plowboy, I'm a retired person looking for a part time job to supplement my retirement check. And boy, if you will read it again, I said it would be better if it was aimed more towards youth soccer. My grandsons play soccer and they travel all over the state. Why not bring some of that money here? So no, I'm not subscribing to a "race to the bottom" mentality. I think you need to open that brain of yours a little bit. Even Connie agrees youth soccer would benefit this city.

Anonymous said...

The Boy Wonder violated the Brown Act to Channel 10 and needs to recuse himself.

Hayseed Plowboy said...

Just how did Mayor Davis violate the Brown Act?

The Real Story said...

Ok Everyone. Just stop complaining and give it up. The Fab 4 have this one in the bag. you all put them in office so just live with it. You get what you pay for..

EG mom said...

Real Story- I didn't pay for these guys, developers who don't live here paid for them.

but yeah, you get what you pay for.

They're all crazy.

Never thought I'd agree w/ Tom Waltman, but last night he hit it right on. Our kids will be paying for this council's actions for years to come.

Our council played right into the hands of 10-14 year olds. Guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Anonymous said...

I attended two of those "community meetings" on the SEP and there was never a mention of a Soccer Stadium being built. We did consider some soccer fields for our youth and to throw the two together at the council meeting, misleading our children and their parents was very unfair to our community at large. As for office space, when driving around I see nothing but empty space and vacant land that will most likely take years to fill. Also, what about that Delta Shores project I'm hearing about that some say will most likely come online sooner? We need some "outgoing" product for this city to ever become a "destination city." Remember, living wage jobs Mr. Davis!

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