There was a good comprehensive update on the state of MLS expansion and Sacramento’s role in that landscape in particular on Friday from ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle. The entire thing is a worthy read, although looks to other markets will likely set Sacramento residents’ blood boiling.
Still, Sacramento Republic remain publicly upbeat about the prospects of regaining an MLS expansion slot after Ron Burkle pulled out as the lead investor and the entire expansion bid collapsed several weeks ago.
“We’ve gotten a lot of different folks that have reached out about it, so we’re working through that process,” Sac Republic president Todd Dunivant told ESPN. “This isn’t something that you snap your fingers and it happens overnight, but we are certainly working with the level of urgency because we are ready. We’ve been working on this for a year and a half transitioning toward MLS on all aspects, so we want to see that momentum [continue].”
“They’re serious. These are not prank calls by any means,” Dunivant added.
Current Sac Republic owner Kevin Nagle also tweeted out an update on the search for a lead owner (aka a “whale”) for MLS expansion in recent days:
Want to let those interested, the Mayor’s and my team are busy working with potential Whales and advancing discussions. I am very optimistic about our options in search of a great partner. We’re keeping the league informed. Thnx for your patience/support. Will share when we can.— Kevin Nagle (@KevinNagleMLS) March 28, 2021
So, this all sounds promising, but it’s only good news if they can find the next owner(s) and then get MLS to approve this second go-round. Meanwhile, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Louisville, among others, are circling and readying MLS bids of their own, so the Sacramento power brokers have to be smart and make sure it can stick this time, but also get it done quickly. We’ll see.
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