LISTEN: CLUB PRESIDENT TODD DUNIVANT ON THE CARMICHAEL DAVE SHOW
New Sacramento Republic President Lays Out Plan To Rejoin The MLS Expansion Conversation
Late last month, Major League Soccer was shaken by the news that Sacramento Republic FC would not be joining the league as its 30th club, at least yet.
Primary investor Ron Burkle informed the league he would not be investing in an expansion franchise, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. Without Burkle’s financial resources, the ownership group of the Republic FC club that currently plays in the second-tier USL League Championship could not fund the stadium project and expansion fee necessary to launch an MLS operation.
‘I believe in it’: New Sac Republic President Todd Dunivant on bringing MLS to the city
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Just one week ago, lead investor, Ron Burkle backed out of the Major League Soccer Sacramento expansion deal. Three days later, President Ben Gumpert stepped down.
After three years as general manager, Todd Dunivant was promoted to president. KCRA 3’s Michelle Dapper talked exclusively with Dunivant, who will now oversee both the sporting and business operations.
“I’m passionate about it. I believe in it. I believe in the mission and this city,” Dunivant told KCRA 3.
Dunivant played 13 years in Major League Soccer, including nine for the LA Galaxy alongside David Beckham and Landon Donovan.
Republic FC, Sacramento mayor optimistic new investor in MLS deal will be found
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Amid the recent setbacks in the planned Major League Soccer expansion in Sacramento, many questions still remain about the future of professional soccer in the capital.
First, it was Ron Burkle at the end of February who pulled the plug on his deal as the lead investor to bring MLS to Sacramento.
Then a few days later, Ben Gumpert stepped down as chief operating officer for Sacramento Republic FC.
Many in the region cringed thinking the MLS dream would soon collapse.
“We can’t give up,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “We didn’t give up on the Kings and we’re not giving up on Major League Soccer.”
Steinberg has been involved in both processes for the city and he explained Wednesday the next steps are fairly straightforward.
Sacramento Republic owner Kevin Nagle vows to keep fighting for MLS expansion
The news that Ron Burkle was officially pulling out as the majority investor in Sacramento’s MLS expansion team Friday was certainly a shock, and it appears it was at least somewhat unexpected within Sacramento Republic FC as well.
While the club has not released a statement as of publication on Friday evening, current club lead owner Kevin Nagle did make a statement on his Twitter account Friday in response to the bombshell news, which puts the club’s aspirations to go to MLS in major doubt.
Sacramento Republic coach Mark Briggs on MLS expansion quest: ‘We have to come out fighting’
Sacramento Republic FC are set to open preseason the week after next, and while attention will turn to the action on the field before long, head coach Mark Briggs spoke out about the big news around the club, that the purported official MLS expansion bid was nothing of the sort, after Ron Burkle pulled out as the lead investor for the expansion quest last week.
Briggs spoke on Wednesday’s episode of “The Breakaway: Live,” the club’s official show, broadcast on Facebook.
Host Connor Sutton asked Briggs at the top of the episode what message the coach had following the shock news, and Briggs admitted the soccer team was blindsided as much as the outside world.
Dunivant’s big job with Sacramento Republic in 2021? ‘We need to find an investor’
Sacramento Republic FC president Todd Dunivant was on the Carmichael Dave Show Wednesday on KHTK, and for the man thrown into a whirlwind since being named club president last week on top of his general manager duties, he sought to make his pitch that he belongs in the new role and Sac Republic belong in MLS.
On the first count, Dunivant said he understood why some may question his qualifications for such a monumental job, but his experience launching the San Francisco Deltas in the NASL, in which they won the league title in their single year of existence, gave him a crash course in the various sides of running a club.
Official Club Statement – February 26, 2021
We understand the feelings of anger, disappointment and frustration – we share in those deeply. Today’s announcement is not a reflection of the fans, Sacramento or this club. Republic FC will continue to serve and support this community, true to its mission. As an organization, we will always represent Sacramento with pride.
“After working for many years to bring an MLS team to Sacramento, the League continues to believe it can be a great MLS market.”
— Major League Soccer (Full Statement)
“We will still bring MLS to Sacramento, and we will work with the league to find a new lead investor…. We have an approved stadium plan and an approved plan to build and pay for infrastructure. We also have the best fan base in the country – one that has shown time and time again that it can support an MLS team.”
— Mayor Darrell Steinberg (Full Statement)
“My partners and I are committed as ever to bring MLS to Sacramento, which this city and fans deserve. When one door closes, another opens.”
— Kevin Nagle (Full Statement)
There is much more information to come about how we will continue our MLS journey. What we do know unequivocally is we have a season ahead just around the corner, three trophies to win, and a community to represent to the world.