It was an eventful year for Sacramento Republic’s project to enter MLS, even if most of the results were pushed into the future.
The club decided with MLS to push back entry into the top flight by a year, to 2023, due to uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic (which is still raging, by the way) and delays that resulted in the project to build the club’s new stadium at the Railyards in Sacramento.
The club gave a hint to the timeline for construction getting underway in earnest when they announced the men’s and women’s College Cup tournaments are coming to the new stadium in 2024 and 2025, respectively, saying the construction will begin in a matter of months.
When asked about the specific timeline for the build to begin, Sac Republic president Ben Gumpert offered an update during the club’s end-of-season availability last week.
“In terms of stadium construction, as you know, obviously a lot has happened over the past few months and we’ve taken the opportunity to rejigger some designs, which will be to the long-term benefit of Sac Republic and all of the other uses we have for the stadium,” Gumpert said. “We continue to work with our architects — I joke with Todd [Dunivant] and Mark [Briggs] and others all the time, I do have a hard hat in my trunk, I should probably have a shovel in there — I am ready and excited to get out there as much as everyone.”
While Sac Republic have been doing prep work for some time now, and there’s all the red tape and day-to-day business to deal with on the project, Gumpert said in many respects the stadium process is very much well underway.
“Though I would say, there’s a lot of the non-sexy work [continuing],” he explained. “There’s work with our architects, it’s drawings, it’s with our engineers, city permit, you name it. There’s a lot of work that goes into it that we want to make sure is set, done right and sets us up not just in the short term but in the long term. Hoping to have more very specific dates [on construction] for everyone soon. We certainly share in that excitement and our impatience to see steel rising. Because that’s where it becomes more real, I know, for everybody.”
Gumpert also said Sacramento Republic have been in ongoing talks with NWSL about an expansion team in the city, which would presumably provide another occupant of the stadium for regular dates, Gumpert was excited about the upcoming College Cup tournaments and how they will mark the stadium and Sacramento as a destination for events.
“What a great announcement and a great vote of confidence from the NCAA, not to mention all that it means, to have the men’s College Cup, the women’s College Cup, what it means for the stadium, the Railyards and more importantly, Sacramento. It’s a vote of confidence in the growth of what we’re building and this amazing soccer community,” Gumpert said.
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