The Beautiful Agenda - Are Elk Grove's Pro Soccer Dreams on Life Support?

June 9, 2014 | After a two week hiatus, and just in time for the World Cup, the Elk Grove City Council will hear a report on the city&#...

June 9, 2014 |

After a two week hiatus, and just in time for the World Cup, the Elk Grove City Council will hear a report on the city's pursuit of a professional soccer team.

The item, which was on the city council's May 28, regular meeting agenda, was pulled at the request of City Manager Laura Gill. Between the time the agenda was posted and the meeting, a group backing Sacramento's professional soccer team, Sacramento Republic FC of the United Soccer League, had announced their intent seeking to have a county-wide sales tax increase placed on the November ballot to help fund a professional soccer stadium.

At that meeting Gill said in light of those developments, more time was needed to analyze the potential effects it might have on Elk Grove's pursuit of a professional soccer team. Last Friday, the Sacramento group abruptly dropped their plans to get the item on the November ballot and the Elk Grove soccer update item was added to the agenda as an amendment after the original agenda had been posted.
Fabian Nunez seeks Elk Grove taxpayers financing of a 
professional soccer stadium in hopes of attracting
 a Major League Soccer Franchise.

Notwithstanding the Sacramento group's temporarily dropping of the sales tax increase, the Elk Grove initiative to attract a Major League Soccer franchise has come to be viewed as well behind Sacramento's accomplishments. Sacramento's professional soccer club, Republic FC, has been successful on the field as well as attracting capacity audiences to its temporary home at Sacramento City College's Hughes Stadium.

Additionally, MLS Commissioner Don Garber has repeatedly stated his desire to establish expansion franchises in major downtown venues.

"The downtown formula has been working for us and it’s hard to imagine that we would go into a market where we don’t have that scenario," Garber said on the MLS' website.  

Elk Grove and its pro soccer initiative partner, Northern California Soccer, LLC, led by former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, could pursue a franchise with the North American Soccer League. Given Sacramento's early start and quick establishment of a strong fan base, the successful entry of another minor league soccer team in the region seems unlikely.

Wednesday's meeting starts at 6 p.m.

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Anonymous said...

Fabian Nunez currently serves on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Soccer Federation. Influence peddling for an easy mark?

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