Elk Grove, Nunez Led Group To Continue MLS Pursuit; City Buys 99-acres

August 28, 2014 | The City of Elk Grove and Northern California Soccer, LLC, (NCS) decided to continue their joint pursuit of attractin...

August 28, 2014 |

The City of Elk Grove and Northern California Soccer, LLC, (NCS) decided to continue their joint pursuit of attracting a Major League Soccer (MLS) team at tonight's Elk Grove City Council Meeting.

Elk Grove and NCS, which have been in an exclusive agreement since December, 2011, will seek to formalize their agreement that will have the city building a $100 million soccer facility and NCS operate an MLS team. NSC, which has not secured a franchise with the MLS, would pay for the franchise fee estimated at between $50 and $75 million, receive all stadium and facility revenue and collect the naming rights royalties.
Fabian Nunez.

In her presentation, Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill said that the surcharge the city would impose on parking and tickets, along with the estimated $1.4 million in additional transient sales taxes that would be generated citywide because of the facility, would make the stadium financing cost-neutral. In previous reports, the stadium was projected to operate at a deficit.

Gill cautioned that if the transient sales taxes from the city's five hotels were only half of the estimates, the city would be operating the stadium at a loss. 

"When they are cut in half, the hotel and motel and sales taxes, we do run a deficit of about one million dollars a year," Gill said. "What I would like to suggest however, is that truth is probably somewhere in between."

Although Gill expressed skepticism about the proposed project at a June city council meeting, at last night's session she was more optimistic. Citing a 2012 trip that she and Vice Mayor Jim Cooper made to Frisco, Texas, Gill said that suburban edge city in the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex successfully operates a facility similar to what is proposed for Elk Grove.

Citing numerous media reports about MLS's interest in the Sacramento market based on the success of the United Soccer League's Sacramento Republic FC, and their desire to locate franchises in urban areas, Council Member Pat Hume asked if Elk Grove's demographics are a match.

"The urban demographic is who they are targeting," Hume said. "That is where they think they have their fan base."

Gill again cited Frisco as a suburban community that successfully operate a competitive soccer facility and hosts an MLS team. The majority of current MLS stadiums are in non-suburban areas.  

"Frisco, Texas, that model works," she said. "It works really well, and it is not in an urban center."

Hume also stressed his concern that the prolonged negotiations between the city and NCS is stalling the construction of much needed competitive soccer fields. 

"You are holding up fields that could be of use to your residents right now, on a maybe from the MLS on this entity," he said.  

Fabian Nunez, NCS's principal who appeared before the council without introducing himself, said his group would be willing to move forward on the soccer fields exclusive of the stadium component. 

"There is no reason we couldn't bifurcate that process and say, 'let's get going with the soccer facilities now,'" Nunez said.

Nunez added that on Tuesday he was at MLS's New York headquarters and acknowledged that while they prefer downtown stadiums, said the league told him they are having difficulty finding those sites in possible expansion cities.

"MLS is having a very difficult time building a downtown soccer arena in New York City," he noted. 

During their deliberation and without voting, the city council agreed to continue its negotiations with NCS to reach a final agreement that Nunez could present to MLS and directed city staff to split the soccer field component out and pursue that ahead of the stadium matter. No time frame was given on when the soccer field component would be ready for council action.

In a separate matter, the city council also approved the $4.3 million purchase of a 99-acre parcel located off of Grantline Road, just outside of the city limits. The matter was on the consent calendar and following public comments voiced about the purchase, Hume noted the property could be used for several purposes including a site for a possible county fair, and that because the property was outside city limits, it was about one-third of the cost to similar property in the city.

"We are buying it without any use in mind," Hume said.




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Anonymous said...

NCS would "receive all stadium and facility revenue and collect the naming rights royalties."


"Elk Grove plans to bankroll the $4.4 million deal with money internally borrowed from the city’s stormwater drainage fund. The city will borrow $6 million total to pay for the land, closing costs and studies on alternative uses for the acreage, according to a staff report. The loan would be paid off with interest over 10 years beginning in fiscal year 2015-16.

City officials believe the project would generate additional sales and hotel taxes to help repay the purchase costs, according to a staff report."

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/27/6660211/elk-grove-approves-100-acre-land.html#storylink=cpy

Phyllis said...

Okay, to restate our city manager's information, the best estimates are that the city would be "cost-neutral" to losing a half million dollars a year. All the while the citizens would be footing the %6 million tax bill for the project...a project that is cost-neutral as a best case scenario?
- What a cock-a-maimee deal that is.

This doesn't even take into account that Kevin Johnson and the Kings owner have the inside track, high national visibility, financing, and a preferred downtown site for MLS.

How much money and staff time is going to be spent on this pipe dream of the mayor's?

If fact, how much money has been spent to date on this project?

Oh yeah, we just spent $6 million for land outside our city limits while our roads and other infrastructure necessary for out citizens deteriorate before us.

Please take care of those of us who live here. Stop trying to make us a "destination" city.

Get your eye on the ball.

Anonymous said...

This will give the city a reason to renew their SOI application.

Connie said...

Something is amiss here, so I sent the following email to City Manager Laura Gill. If I get a response, I will post it.


It is often said the best quote in newspaper articles is the last one -- and I leave will out history here regarding my often challenge with a council member about getting those quotes -- but Elk Grove News gives Pat Hume the last quote in the following article. It says, "We are buying it without any use in mind," Hume said.


To counter Pat’s quote, is a quote from you in The Sacramento Bee prior to last night's council meeting whereby you were quoted, "There may be other facilities that can go in there, but we are considering that for a soccer complex. It’s a good investment.”

That is followed up with a quote from Gary Davis, regarding the MLS Stadium, “We’ve talked about a number of high priorities, but the common stumbling block is that we don’t have the land,” Davis said. “We want to purchase it so we can have it available.”


So which is it? Is Pat Hume correct here? Or as with the Southgate Aquatics Center when you said you felt the Council didn’t need to know about the other facility being built, was Pat Hume left out in the dark.

Or are the quotes in the Bee incorrect?

I think the citizens of Elk Grove, along with a few of the council members, need not only clarification, but some straight answers here.

Sincerely yours,
Connie Conley

lynn said...

Corrupt as Bell, Bankrupt as Vallejo.. My opinion, and I have been saying it for years.. No can't prove it.. All what the city does appears legal. Morally or ethically ok...I don't think so, but again just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Lynn.... If you or anyone else has evidence that there is corruption like the City of Bell where the City of Elk Grove City Council and city employees receiving financial benefit that is illegal, this needs to be taken to the City Attorney and Attorney General’s Office to address.

What are the facts of your statement of corruption for you to make these allegations?

Anonymous said...

To Anon at 9:26:

That is rich, take it to the "City Attorney." Are you kidding me? If you paid attention to the history at city hall regarding our city attorneys, all one as to do is lift up the carpet, that is where they sweep everything, including any alleged wrongdoing. And when they speak up:

Manzanetti - fired!
Cochran - fired!

Hobbs is smart enough to rubber stamp everything the city council says and does, so he keeps racking in those billable hours for Kronick!

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha! They're having trouble building a stadium in downtown NYC! No kidding?! Have these bumpkins ever been to Manhattan or immediate outskirts. Do they realize that the NFL is across the river in Jersey or that the Mets and Yankees built their new stadiums next to their old ones? There isn't land!!!!

This is such ignorant crap that this council believes will stick to the wall. The MLS is certainly saying all the right things to EG, only because they can use it as leverage to get something done in Sacramento or a foothill community is they do go outside of Sac. And this motel tax...the vast majority of people are not going to stay in EG for anything going on in this facility. Maybe for weekend long youth events that DON'T need a 100M stadium. Plain stupid...this council sounds like a high school poser trying to impress the cool kid. No one is taking this serious outside this council.

You want to build a stadium? How about a community baseball field complete with lights. It would cost a fraction of the cost and could be used as a point of pride for this baseball crazed town.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, here an example of unethical behavior that went unaddressed by the City Attorney:

Since we are discussing the sports complex and alleged wrongdoing, when both Big League Dreams and Sportsplex USA had RFPs before the city of Elk Grove, a council member’s son got a paid job with one of them right before the RFP was submitted. He bragged as much on Facebook about the job.

The very night the RFPs were heard before the city council, that same son introduced himself to the other owner as a council member’s son, asking to speak to him about a job. The owner responded that since he had an RPF before the city, the request was unethical and terminated the conversation. It was reported by the owner that the very next morning, the council member sent the owner an email thanking him for talking to his son, included his son’s website address, and wrote if he had another other questions about his son to contact him.

Quid Pro Quo here?

And this was no he said, he said – there were witnesses.

What was done here was reported as unethical behavior by the council member to City Attorney Jon Hobbs? Was anything done? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Mark last night on your calendars... It's the night that Davis and Detrick can point to when they sealed their fate on their 2016 hopes. You're done in Elk Grove, Boys... Wait for it...

Anonymous said...

Did anyone believe that BS from Nunez, including the fact that Elk Grove is only 8 miles from downtown Sacramento?

Okay Fabian, that would put you at about Florin or Mack Roads, and that is the city of Sacramento!

And the council appeared to be in awe of the former speaker. Star struck perhaps and ready to hand over a check for $88 million!

Anonymous said...

Re: Lynn Wheat's comments. Not speaking on behalf of her, but she has a point. The various schemes the city council in conjuring up can easily leed us down the road to insolvency. I would maybe substitute Stockton for Vallejo, but the net effect is the same.

As for Bell comparison, I don't think we are there yet, but we sure seem to be headed in that direction. Some of the key ingredients in Bell included a largely disaffected and apathetic populace that for years didn't watch what was going on. It was only when a few people started blowing the horn on the situation that the LA Times noticed. Likewise, what has our city government done to the sincere people (they know who they are) who have the best interests of the city at heart? They have been bullied and marginalized to the point that they throw up their arms and give up. Can you imagine how the people who worked on the city's sign ordinance feel after now those hard fought regulations were changed? This is what our city council and executive team has done and they got us right were they want us - disaffected and apathetic.

Furthermore, in Bell there was a very cozy relationship between council members and the executive team. In a few years, there will probably be thoroughly entrenched council members who will go unchallenged (can you say Cooper, Detrick and now Davis and Hume) and an executive team who will likewise be entrenched. It is in these situations that corruption breeds - they have the public disaffected and they are essential council members for life.

So are we Bell? No, not yet, but the the stares are aligning.

Anonymous said...

Taking 2 minutes to use Google Maps Driving directions I found the following: Elk Grove to Sacramento is 15.6 miles. That's Elk Grove Blvd and Elk Grove-Florin Road to City Hall in downtown Sac.

Calvine Road (northen most exit to the city of EG) at Hwy 99 to Hwy 50 (the start of what most consider the urban core of Sac) is only 8 miles.

The newly purchased land off Grantline is 15.2 miles to Hwy 50 and 18.1 miles to downtown Sac.

Perhaps Mr. Nunez needs a new GPS because nobody really thinks Elk Grove to Sacramento is only 8 miles.

Captain Louis Renault said...

MLS would use Elk Grove's bid as leverage against Saramento? I'm shocked, shocked!

Anonymous said...

Enough with the “Reaching for the Stars” approach to projects. I see a pattern here that does not reflect well upon our City Council & City Staffers. Here is the scenario:

Community comes to the city requesting a softball/baseball tournament complex for youth baseball/softball tournament purposes. Community waits, waits, and waits. Negotiations, “not enough money”, and controversy occur. Project dies. Kids continue to get older and older.

A few years later, community comes to the city requesting an aquatic center for competition purposes. City proposes a “Sun Splash” type venture in conjunction with the aquatic center. Community waits, waits, and waits. Negotiations and controversy occur. Kids continue to get older and older.

Community comes to the city requesting a youth/adult soccer tournament complex. City instead, proposes an MLS professional soccer stadium in conjunction with the tournament facility. Community waits, waits, and waits. Negotiations and controversy occur. Kids continue to get older and older…

Sometimes the simplest ideas can result in the largest profit margin & the easiest to accomplish. Unfortunately, our City Staff & Council Members may never know the satisfaction of a job well done, and well supported… the above-mentioned conversations started over 10 years ago. New proposals were added as the years progressed. Neither of these has come to fruition. We still wait and wait and wait… in the meantime; many of us who spoke the loudest & pushed the hardest have kids that are now too old for youth sports.

Tired of being disappointed & disgruntled. Remember in business: K.I.S.S.

Anonymous said...

They should focus in getting jobs into this city instead of chasing their tails from project to project.

Proud Heritage, Bright Future?

Elk Grove Thriving?

A City by the developers, of the developers and FOR the developers!

Increase in armed robberies, assaults and various street crimes

More sprawl, horrendous congestion and smog.

$100 million soccer stadium

Garish 70 - 100 foot tall lighted freeway monument signs

Sister city to the Kingdom of Zamunda

Octopus Civic Center

Amusement park right across from single family homes in Madeira "the Jewel of Elk Grove".

Visions of the Olympic Trials.

3,600 units of high density very low and low income housing on the way to "Meridian" (the Southeast Plan Area) - Hood of the future to be known as Mack Road South.

Trash blowing in the wind,flat, bland, hot, windy sprawling, fast food joints, nail salons, gun stores, smoke shops, vape palaces, strip malls, cheap looking high density low income apartment projects, lack of symphony light opera and ballet, very few upscale restaurants, dollar stores, cookie cutter houses.


No, Elk Grove brought to you by the rubber stampers.

Stockton and Modesto have performing arts centers, orchestras and other cultural amenities.

Stockton and Modesto have high quality local restaurants.

Elk Grove has fast food joints, chain restaurants and convenience store cuisine.

Bring on more garish 100 foot tall freeway signs, low income housing projects, liquor stores, fast food joints, shooting ranges, gun stores, smoke shops and nail salons.

Elk Grove Thriving!

Proud Heritage, Bright Future?


Anonymous said...

This SMELLS too bad to be true
#1) we are buying land outside the city limits for "parks and open space"
#2) the land is really for a MLS soccer stadium.
#3) the city (and tax payers) pay for this land by borrowing money from another city fund
#4) the city has no rights to the team, no say so...other than to tack on a surplus fee on tickets and parking to pay back the debt
#4) best case scenario is the city is +1600 a year
#5) worst case scenario is the city is losing 1.1 million a year
#6) city taking all the risks, getting really nothing in return.
#7) hotel numbers were padded. No way 100% of each hotel is booked due to an event. Some of those guest are here for other others (weddings, graduations, business trips, etc.)...however all revenue was credited to the stadium
#8) Kevin Johnson is wondering what the hell EG is doing....laughing all the way to the rail yards.
#9) with these negotiations clearly the most important negotiations of our city's history, we are allowing Laura Gill and her sidekick Becky to represent us?? This might have been the time to actually hire someone with negotiations SKILLS, not some hick with a southern twang. Fabian surely has the upper hand...he's be conning people for years...we are underrepresented in these talks for sure. HIRE PROFESSIONAL, BUSINESS/SPORTS MINDED NEOGIATORS.
#10) Pat Hume wants this deal (don't let his hesitation fool you) If the stadium fails, which it will, Mr. Hume and his developer friends have now opened the door to the SOI coming back
#11) Where are those jobs you keep talking about?

This council seems to have lost their way. They all seem to want to create something to point to saying "look what I did Mom!"...it's all about their egos.

And finally, it is time for Cooper to win the assembly race and move on. I'm tired of him staring down his nose at us, wagging his finger, and telling us "this is a good deal". I don't trust him at all. As much as I'd hate to push him on to higher office, at least we'd get a new face on the council. His "allure" has dulled. He's just as dirty as they rest of the bunch.

Anonymous said...

Seems it's not the best time for a MLS visit. Our Planning Director has left,
Economic Development Director Randy Starbuck is gone and the search for our next superintendent of the Elk Grove Unified School District is ongoing. We also don't have those 75' "destination city" signs up yet to show the thousands of soccer fans where to Stay, Dine & Shop. That being said, we do have Cooper & Gill to point out how like Frisco, TX we are and how it worked for them and the same would hold true for Elk Grove. You just have to up Sacramento's Mayor & his group of investors to make a good show! Sounds easy enough to me....

Oh yea, might want to clean up some of the roadsides weeds and trash before that visit.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 8:13:

What? Randy Starbuck is gone! When did that occur? Could it be that he was not doing his job after all? And didn't people comment here a time or 1,000 that he wasn't

Anonymous said...

WOW, I can't believe you forgot to mention Gracie's Coffee. Mayor Davis needs to set up a coffee kiosk on Grantline, by that $6 M dollar property we bought with borrowed money. Now that would really blow the MLS officials minds..Mayor Johnson could never top that!

Anonymous said...

I kinda look at this borrowing money to take a gamble at winning the big jackpot, "MLS", as much like my visit to the crap tables in Las Vegas on borrowed money. Might just be an indication I have a problem and need an intervention.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:01

Just read about it Online last night...


Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is a turning into a big regional joke.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what the MLS thinks when they read & listen all those comments by Mayor Davis, must be thinking "what a hick Mayor." This is big time stuff and should be handled in a professional manner...not hearing Kevin Johnson on his pedestal spouting off and you can bet he's working on it.

Thought it was kinda funny when council started plugging the Frisco, TX complex they visited and how great it was...thinking about Mayor Davis' ad he bought slamming Texas just a few months ago. We are sooo out of our league and why Nunez hooked up....$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Here we have our Mayor Davis talking to every media source that will listen to him talk the "big talk" and not a peep out of Mayor Johnson. Being the professional he is, I would imagine his work is going on behind closed doors with all the prep work being prepared for the MLS visit next month and investors lined up. Won't be too many surprises when/if they visit EG...it's already been thrown to the wind in Mayor Davis' photo opts...what little there is!

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