Sacramento Talking To Well-Funded Investors To Help MLS Bid
The group leading Sacramento’s effort to land an expansion spot in MLS said on Thursday that it has "held serious conversations with several billionaires interested in becoming investors in the bid," according to Ryan Lillis of the SACRAMENTO BEE. Those talks have been with "at least three potential investors who could take a lead role -- or lead roles -- as Sacramento competes with Cincinnati and Detroit for the 26th spot" in MLS. Officials with USL club Sacramento Republic previously said that they are "searching for new investors who will help not only cover" an estimated $250M in stadium construction costs and a $150M MLS expansion fee, but also "solidify the team’s long-term viability as a major league franchise." The club "declined to identify the potential investors." MLS Commissioner Don Garber has said that he "wanted to name the next expansion team before the MLS season begins March 3." But a league spokesperson on Thursday said the league has “not set a date for the announcement of the next expansion club.” Once "considered the front-runner for expansion, Sacramento’s bid began to lose momentum late last year after it was revealed the group did not have the financial heft MLS wanted." Cincinnati then "emerged," but that city’s bid also "remains unresolved as an ownership group led by billionaire financier Carl Lindner tries to settle on one of three possible stadium sites" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 2/16).