SBD/November 15, 2013/Facilities

Ovations Building $3M Soccer Stadium In Sacramento With USL Club As First Tenant

Ovations will pay a cut of the venue's profits to state-owned Cal Expo
The city of Sacramento’s sports scene "took a major step forward Thursday" with the announcement of a $3M, 8,000-seat soccer stadium to house USL Pro Club Sacramento Republic FC, according to a front-page piece by Sam Stanton of the SACRAMENTO BEE. The stadium will be built by Ovations Food Services and is expected open at Cal Expo by March. Plans call for the stadium to be "erected on a vacant, 4.5-acre parcel of the fairgrounds" in time for the club to begin league play in April. Sacramento Republic FC is still being formed, and team President & Founder Warren Smith said that his "ultimate goal" is bringing an MLS franchise to the city, "something that would eventually require construction" of a $100M soccer facility seating at least 18,000 people. Ovations has run concessions at Cal Expo and the California state fair for two decades. Ovations VP/Business Development Nick Nicora said that the company would "pay a cut of the profits to Cal Expo, which is owned by the state of California." Nicora: "We hope to have an opening day of March 15 ... and we’re looking at a possible exhibition game in the first week of April." Smith "made it clear that his intent is to use the Republic team as a springboard to MLS, and he said he is considering eight sites -- including downtown and Cal Expo -- as possible homes for an MLS franchise if he acquires one" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 11/15).
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