MLS Picks MSP Over SMF - Where Does That Leave 'The Grove?'

March 18, 2015 | Yesterday, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson conceded the battle but vowed to continue the war.  Johnson was of cours...

March 18, 2015 |

Yesterday, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson conceded the battle but vowed to continue the war. 

Johnson was of course referring to the apparent decision by Major League Soccer to award an expansion franchise to one of the two investor groups in Minneapolis. Even though this battle was lost, Johnson and the Warren Smith led investor group making the bid said they would continue their pursuit to build a soccer stadium at Downtown Sacramento's Railyard development.

Even though Sacramento lost to Minneapolis, there is still a chance Sacramento could be given the expansion franchise awarded to the David Beckham's Miami led group should they fail to secure a new stadium deal. Aside from that, the MLS is expected to have another round of expansion in four or five years.
Has the time come to scuttle Elk Grove's 
Soccer Stadium Field of Dreams?

Lost in all of these expansion conversations was Elk Grove's supposed bid. As recently as this January, Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis insisted that "The Grove," as the mayor has referred to the city, was still in the running for an MLS expansion team.

While the city took their prospects of landing a franchise serious enough to play a shell game with drainage funds to buy a $4 million 99-acre parcel outside of city limits, how serious was the MLS and Elk Grove's agent, former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez?

From the time Mayor Gary Davis and former Council Member Jim Cooper met with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, did the MLS use the city simply as a leverage tool? Did Nunez use the city for whatever ulterior motive he possessed?

Of course, we will never know lest an elected official fesses up to a major blunder. So it goes.

Moving forward, is the city council still interested in pursuing a soccer stadium? If so, who will occupy it, a North America Soccer League team?

Given the success of the USFL's Sacramento Republic FC, can the Sacramento region support another professional soccer team?

If the city council decides to scuttle the soccer stadium, will they pursue some sort of arena? If they pursue an arena, who will occupy that? A minor league basketball or hockey team? When will plans for the soccer and other soccer fields be unveiled, and most importantly, how will it be financed?

It is time for the city council to explain fully to the public just what it plans to do with the 99-acres.  


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Rudolf said...

Time for the city council and the mayor to stop playing all these reindeer games. Elk Grove is the land of misfit projects!

Anonymous said...

aaah, Nunez must have not got his gift baskets.

Anonymous said...

Since we supposedly got such a "deal" on the 99 acres we should get rid of it at a huge profit and put the soccer fields back in the southeast policy area where they belong.

Anonymous said...

How much money was wasted on this goofy adventure?

Anonymous said...

Don't believe for one new york minute that this soccer land was actually meant to house a soccer facility. this council just wanted to pry open the SOI area for growth and they're using this land, one hundred acres at a time, to push development southward. that nonsense about an MLS was just a smoke screen for the common EG resident. what is really going on is expansion to the south...just watch how quickly that land is sold to developers for more rooftops...this council cannot hide their greed on this one...

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