Railyards Stadium Will Anchor Development Essential to Sacramento’s Future
The new Railyards Stadium is much more than a home for game day drums, songs that echo through the city, and the best home turf advantage in MLS. Beyond the walls of the city’s new coliseum, a flurry of new construction and development will transform the City’s first innovation district into a turn of the century home for the next era in Sacramento’s story.
While the boys in Old Glory Red will be playing under the lights of a multi-million dollar soccer-specific stadium, vibrant life will be a constant in the areas around the stadium as the new venue will certainly be a major destination at the Railyards development, it won’t be the only family-friend activity center for residents of the Indomitable City to enjoy as the Railyards will soon be a must-see destination in California’s Capital City.
The Railyards-area of the city has always been teeming with life, and SRFC’s new stadium will be the future urban entertainment epicenter on a location that always been the heart of Sacramento’s past. Dating back nearly a century, The Railyards were the city’s biggest employer – where one-third of the city worked. And now the buildings and site that once connected a nation, will once again come to life, connect another part of the city with neighboring downtown.
Restaurants, bars, shops, hotels, housing a modern transportation hub and a new hospital – not to mention parks, a museum, and the unmatched experience at Railyards Stadium. Sacramento’s next story will happen in a new, vibrant district for all to enjoy.
The Railyards will be home to a buzzing hive of innovative ideas and concepts in the 5-million square feet of office space and cultural centers in the form of museums and parks. Work and social gathering aside, citizens of California’s Capital can call the Railyards home in the residential housing available in the highly sought-after desirable destination. Just imagine, walking from work to an outdoor event at Railyards Stadium throughout the year.
The historic facade that tells the story of the city’s past will still be a crucial focal point of Sacramento’s skyline. The overall design of the development is focused on connecting the city’s future to its past while blending the unique features that make Sacramento such a special place to work, play and live. The transportation hub will also physically connect the city and draw families to a year-round urban entertainment footprint that spans 140 acres.
Republic FC fans have a lot to look forward to when it comes to watching the squad compete in the top domestic soccer league in the new stadium but the area will be more than just a haven for soccer fans on match day. The Railyards will be an all day entertainment and lifestyle experience that offer housing, public spaces, food and entertainment that all lead up to an unparalleled experience in the new downtown venue. It’s not just a space for fans attending the game, but a space for all of Sacramento to visit and discover their own little slice of heaven in a district that provides a wealth of history about the Indomitable City.
From the outdoor courtyards and cafes that can be utilized all year to the weekend farmers markets hours before a gameday, the Railyards will once again be a hotbed for downtown gathering with the Indomitable Club’s new stadium being the crown jewel of the highly anticipated urban development.
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The Railyards: A spark for Sacramento, past and present
For recent generations, The Railyards have been the dormant district that separates Downtown from the city’s northern neighborhoods. But over 150 years ago, The Railyards breathed life into a young city, provided opportunity for the region’s workforce, and embodied the spirit of the city – Indomitable.
Eureka may have brought California its first dreamers, but The Railyards made it possible to unite a country – and build an Indomitable City.
As California and the city of Sacramento continued to develop in their early years, sending and receiving supplies or mail to and from the mining communities was pivotal for positive growth in the region. Charles Lincoln Wilson saw this as a golden opportunity to form the Sacramento Valley Railroad in 1852 and tirelessly pushed local legislation to have the railroad constructed. In 1855, building began, and it was that same year that the first-ever passenger train west of the Mississippi River completed a successful voyage from Sacramento to Folsom. Innovation’s spark created a springboard for Sacramento.
Less than a decade later, the region was ravaged by the Great Flood of 1862 and it would take years for a resilient Sacramento to recover from the devastation. But a resilient city of Sacramento rose from the murky waters and still stands strong to this day – showcasing the city’s indomitable spirit more than ever before.
While the city was still recovering from the floods, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act which brought the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad companies together to build the transcontinental railroad – connecting the eastern side of the United States to the west. Sacramento – and The Railyards – became the gateway to rail travel to the East. It would become the first innovation district, powered by cutting edge technology – the steam locomotive. One-third of the city worked in The Railyards, building and servicing the iron horse that would accelerate the economy of the region, the state, and the nation.
A Home for the Next
Over decades of the city’s growth and as the technology of the times changed, The Railyards fell dormant – only to wait for the next chance to define Sacramento. The largest infill project in the US – 244 acres – will once again transform Sacramento as a world-class city.
12,000 housing units. ~3 million sq. ft. of office. ~2 million sq. ft. of retail, hotel, and other commercial uses, 41 acres of parks and open space. A state-of-the-art hospital and new courthouse bringing nearly 20,000 jobs to the new downtown.
The anchor: a 25,000-seat soccer specific stadium for Sacramento Republic FC and the region.
The Railyards will come full circle – once the district that solidified Sacramento’s place on the map, to now, the district that will invite the world to discover what makes the region truly great.
Mixed-use Urban Village
Denton Kelly of Sacramento’s Downtown Railyard Ventures mapped out the vision for what the vibrant new Railyards will offer and look like, well over a century after the confluence at the river was also a confluence of growth, innovation and ideas.
The area itself was originally just a 20-acre site, but the growth of the Railyards expanded to 40 acres by 1878 and by 1922 it was a sprawling 145 acres in size.
But the Railyards were more than just an inbound and outbound location for goods and services as it was also the epicenter of the Central Shops where the primary function of the shops was repair, design, construction and maintenance of the locomotives.
Now, the same site as those historical shops will be the home of an entertainment, retail and social hub that will also offer collaborative work environments to harbor hundreds of jobs – as it did for the blue-collar workers who helped to build and work long hours at the Railyard itself over one hundred years ago. Modern architecture will surround and highlight the historic foundations still proudly standing today as the downtown urban experience will feature art, cultural experiences including craft breweries, urban wineries and local, artisanal restaurants on top of being a central gathering point on the very same site that united the entire country and showcased to the nation Sacramento’s vital role in the growth of the United States.
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Faces of Sacramento: Meet the supporters behind Republic FC
The Republic’s fervent and loyal fanbase put the team on the map when they debuted as a second-division club in United Soccer League (USL) in 2014 and they set the groundwork for a future move to MLS.
In the video and profiles below showcase the stories of some of those supporters who are sure to be on hand when Sacramento Republic FC begin play in MLS in 2022 in a brand new $300 million, 20,100-seat soccer stadium in the downtown Railyards District.
“Sacramento Republic is my community, my club, my family.”
Manny is an active and influential figure in Sacramento’s soccer community, helping organize adult leagues and tournaments. Arriving in the U.S. from Mexico City in 1973, he moved to Sacramento a decade later and now lives in the area with his wife, three children and four grandchildren. When he first heard about SRFC, Manny recruited over 60 season ticket members, most of whom sit with him in Section 116.
Izabella “Izzy” Duink
“We were determined to never give up, and that shows how indomitable our city is.”
Izzy broke boundaries by becoming the first girl in the Republic FC Youth Academy after earning a spot on the U-12 team as a goalkeeper. She recently participated in “Watch Me”, an initiative designed by SRFC to elevate women and girls through sport that includes an ongoing series of camps and clinics to develop stronger female soccer players on and off the field. Her dream is to one day become a member of the all-conquering USWNT.
“It means a lot … how this community has come together to wrap their hands around the Republic, and how the Republic acknowledges the community.”
Matthew is a three-year season ticket member who led SRFC’s Native American Heritage Night, the largest of its kind in California sports. As a member of the Ione Band of Miwok Indian community, Matt’s dedication to bringing together 21 tribes and tribal organizations in Northern California is unprecedented. He plans to take this event to even greater heights at the new stadium in the Railyards.
Don Gibson AKA “Rave Bear”
“Sacramento is a welcoming city, whether you dress like this or something else.”
One of the most recognizable, yet mysterious SRFC supporters is Don Gibson, also known as “Rave Bear”. Don is a molecular biologist by day, and furry fan at night, and can be seen on the front lines of the Tower Bridge Battalion. Don is a vocal social advocate and gave a memorable, heartfelt speech on the club’s community impact before the city council prior to a pivotal stadium vote.
Harjit Singh Gill
“As the son of two immigrants who came here in ’79 … that (indomitable) message of the club fits the message of my life and my family.”
Upon moving with his family to Sacramento from the Bay Area two years ago, Harjit, an avid Liverpool supporter, quickly found Republic FC paired his love of football with quality family time, and within two weeks he became a season ticket member. Harjit currently sits on the SRFC Fan Advisory Board and is committed to continuing a strong connection between the club and community.
“I’m looking forward to being able to watch (Republic FC) play in MLS.”
Matthew signed a one-game contract in 2018 after the Make-A-Wish recipient was granted his dream of playing for SRFC. The club held a press conference to announce his signing, and he made his debut the following game, scoring a crowd-erupting goal in the opening minute. Matthew is the embodiment of “indomitable”, undergoing a year of chemotherapy to remove tumors generated from a rare blood condition.
“Sacramento Republic FC embraced me and helped usher me back into society with open arms.”
SRFC routinely visits Folsom State Prison to play pickup soccer games with inmates as part of a joint community outreach program. Edwin was one of the inmates who participated in the program and has been a staunch fan since. Upon his release, the club invited him to attend a game during his personal transition and re-integration. He is now a regular attendee and proud member of the Republic.
Daniel “El Danna” Salas
“There are people who think soccer is just a game. I don’t think so. For me, it’s like a religion, and supporting my team is my passion.”
Daniel is a member of the supporters’ group, La Banda del Puente. He has deep ties with the Hispanic community, and his son plays for the SRFC Youth Academy. Daniel often channels “El Danna” (The Fighter), a character that represents the effort, courage and heart that fuels players as they take to the field. He and La Banda can be seen and heard singing and dancing from the stands.
Heather Sims & Melvin Stewart
“Soccer is our religion, Sac Republic is our church and TBB is our denomination.” – Heather Sims
Heather and Melvin share a special bond with Republic FC. The indomitable couple have been season ticket members since day one and were one of the early members of Tower Bridge Battalion. Melvin proposed to Heather in 2014 at an SRFC home game, and less than a year later they held their wedding ceremony on the club’s pitch, surrounded by family, friends and members of TBB.
Railyards Stadium Flyover Rendering
The inaugural 2022 Major League Soccer campaign for the boys in Old Glory Red will be here before we know it. For a glimpse into the Indomitable Club’s stunning new stadium to be built on the site of The Railyards, check out a flyover rendering of SRFC’s immaculate new home opening 2022:
Soccer’s Next Stars on Display at College Cup – Coming to the Railyards in ‘24 & ‘25
It’s the most coveted trophy in college soccer, and with Sacramento having been selected to host the NCAA National Champions for men’s soccer in 2024 and women’s soccer in 2025, fans can catch a glimpse of the nation’s best in a few short years. Sign up to be the first to receive information about ticketing and more.
Last week, Sacramento Republic FC announced that the new soccer-specific stadium at The Railyards was selected to host the 2024 NCAA Men’s Soccer National Championships and the 2025 Women’s Soccer National Championships, including the Final Four both years. This is. The first time that the NCAA soccer championships will be hosted in the region.
The colossal college fixtures at The Railyards is the first major announced event at the new downtown development. While the matches at the new stadium will be the epicenter of all the action, the surrounding Railyards will be the ideal destination for tailgating, gathering in the supporter’s plaza to taste the local fare Sacramento has to offer and enjoy local craft beers before the nation’s top competition.
For the men’s championship, the 48-team tournament separated into four regions typically begins in mid-to-late November with the final fixture in mid-December. Of the teams in the competitions, 24 bids are designated for the 21 conference tournament winners as well as the Pac-12 Conference, Ivy League and West Coast Conference regular season winners. After the selection committee names the top 16 seeds – all of which receive a first-round bye – the single elimination tournament begins. Both UC Davis and Pacific have three appearances in the men’s NCAA College Cup tournament – with the furthest run for either university being a trip to the second round
For the women’s championship, 28 universities can claim automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments, while the same trio of conferences as men’s also hand automatic bids to the regular season champions.
It’s not uncommon for the top college stars who competed in the College Cup end up as top drafts picks prior to representing their country at the international level. Take Stanford’s Andi Sullivan who was the top pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft to Washington Spirit after a winning a title at Stanford – and this competition is the chance for soccer fans in Sacramento to grab a ticket and catch a glimpse of the rising stars before they begin their illustrious professional careers.
When it comes to women’s soccer, no school has come close to being as dominant as the University of North Carolina. The Tar-heels have claimed an astonishing 21 national titles while the next closest school – both Stanford and Notre Dame – have three. UNC’s dynasty is an impressive one, but the Chapel Hill university hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2012. Since then, five different schools have won the championship including both Florida State (2014, 2018) and Stanford (2017, 2019) that were two-time title-winners.
Men’s college soccer saw its first dynasty in 1959 when Saint Louis won its first of what would be nine national championships over a 14-year run. Since 1973, the Billikens last championship, a number of new dynasties have the trophy including a squad that won back-to-back titles from 2015 to 2017 Republic’s own Drew Skundrich, Sam Werner and Tomas Hilliard-Arce each played for Stanford and won three titles with the Cardinal together including creating a monumental moment in college soccer when Werner’s double overtime goal against Indiana University.
The future heartbeat of soccer in Sacramento will soon host the nation’s the top men’s and women’s games and be the center the college soccer world for back-to-back years. For more information on the College Cup coming to the Indomitable City or information on The Railyards stadium, be sure to visit MLS2SAC.com.
Railyards Stadium Awarded 2024 Men’s College Cup and 2025 Women’s College Cup
Sacramento, Calif. – Earlier today, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced that Sacramento will serve as the host for the 2024 Men’s and 2025 Women’s College Cup – the semifinals and finals national championship tournaments. The single elimination tournament will welcome the top four teams in college soccer on Dec. 13 and 15 in 2024, and Dec. 5 and 7 in 2025. Fans can sign-up to receive updates and join a waitlist for ticketing at MLS2Sac.com/railyards-stadium/ncaa.
“This has always been about building a better Sacramento through the beautiful game.” said Sacramento Republic FC President and COO Ben Gumpert. “We’re excited to welcome the NCAA, student-athletes and their families, and soccer fans from around the country to our indomitable city. Today’s announcement is just the beginning of our vision to create an active and open stadium for the entire region to enjoy.”
“The Railyards Stadium and community investment by Republic FC is already beginning to create returns for Sacramento,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Hosting the College Cup will showcase our wonderful city to new audiences and create new economic activity. “
“We are thrilled that the NCAA continues to see Sacramento as an ideal location for so many of its important events,” said Visit Sacramento President & CEO Mike Testa. “Sporting events provide fun and excitement for our community, but they also serve as crucial drivers of tourism spending. When competitions come to town, they bring along sometimes hundreds of athletes, coaches, staff, their families and fans. These visitors stay overnight in our hotels, eat in our local restaurants, shop in local stores, frequent our attractions, and much more. This kind of economic support will be crucial in helping Sacramento hospitality businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic.”
Railyards Stadium will serve as Sacramento Republic FC’s new home when the team enters Major League Soccer in 2023. With the support of Major League Soccer, Republic FC have adjusted their construction timeline to be flexible in responding to the impact of the pandemic on Sacramento, as well as in the sports industry. Planning for the 22,000 seat, soccer-specific stadium is in its final stages, with groundbreaking to come in next few months. The 31-acre stadium and entertainment district site anchors the largest urban infill project in the country and will also host Men’s and Women’s National team games, friendlies, concerts, festivals and plenty of other sporting, civic and family events.
For more information about Railyards Stadium and the 2024 and 2025 College Cup, visit MLS2Sac.com.
The Railyards: 345 Units at the A. J. Within Walking Distance of Sacramento’s New Home for Soccer
Even before the fans fill Railyards Stadium, Sacramento’s new sports and entertainment home is sparking change for the region. As the anchor of the largest urban infill project in the country, new projects are on track to bring new life to the City’s original innovation district.
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Just 2 blocks away from the stadium, The A.J. – the first residential development in The Railyards will bring a new living experience to the city, just a short walk away from the excitement of Sacramento’s new urban park and minutes from downtown.
The A.J., will consist of 345 residential rental units, 69 of which will be affordable units, and 5,000 square feet of ground floor retail. The residential units will be a mix of studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units.
Named in honor of A.J. Stevens, who was deemed the father of innovation at the Sacramento Railyards in the late 1800s, the project’s fresh design pays subtle homage to its roots while embracing modern design cues. All apartments will achieve Build It Green gold standard for energy efficiency and include well-appointed finishes, plenty of natural light, and built-in cabinetry.
Amenities including a fitness center, pool and spa, dog wash, and a rooftop sky lounge with outdoor grills and firetables. The design for this mixed-use residential project is a modern interpretation of the historical elements inspired by the site.
To stay up to date on Railyards Stadium and the surrounding projects that will bring new life, excitement and energy to the region, sign up for the MLS Insider email.
The Supporters’ Plaza: Where the heartbeat begins
The energy of a Republic FC game day can’t be contained by the walls of any venue when the boys in Old Glory Red take to the pitch. Especially when supporters groups take to the stands, forming a red titan behind the Indomitable Club. The Railyards Stadium is guaranteed to be loud with its 360-degree roof, and the most passionate fans in sports joining together in the four “neighborhoods” that make up the seating bowl. The North End Supporters Section will create the heartbeat of the match with constant singing spilling out into Sacramento air, the boom of the bass drum, and the banners and flags fanning on the infectious spirit to every fan in sight.
But that energy doesn’t start when the Republic faithful fill into the stadium. It will build steam and energy in the Supporters Plaza just outside of the North End Stands. It will become a home for fans to rally, begin to gather, march as one, and so much more. This will be where the drums come to life, where the chanters grab a friend and bring them along, and where the party begins on match day.
The open-air plaza will be home to food, fanfare, fun and games, and of course beer. “We want game days to be a full experience where people come early to celebrate and stay late to celebrate,” Republic FC President and COO Ben Gumpert said.
All of the club’s fans are welcome to check out the game day excitement. Fans who explore the Supporters’ Plaza may not necessarily be there to be part of the massive before the match that creates the soundtrack for 90 minutes of action – but they may return as family after becoming intertwined with the thrilling experience. Match to match and day to day, the Supporters’ Plaza will breathe life into the stadium with different events, activations and experiences.
With direct access to the North End stands, an exclusive beer hall behind the Supporters Stands, and the tunnel that leads up to the fringe of the pitch – the ultimate reminder that your voice, your support, your passion for the game are what makes Republic FC different – the Supporters’ Plaza is a great place to start your match day.
Start planning your matchday routine, including the Supporters Plaza, by placing a deposit for tickets for the club’s inaugural season in Major League Soccer.
The Visionary Helping Bring the Railyards Stadium to Life
Republic FC’s new home, the Railyards Stadium, is set to spark the next phase of development and change in the region. Soon to be a home for the community to celebrate and enjoy premier entertainment, the venue’s design incorporate the elements that make Sacramento special, while creating a next-generation venue to become the envy of teams around the globe.
Enter Gerardo Prado and the team at HNTB. Prado leads the sports practice for HNTB Sports Architecture, and his professional portfolio includes some of the country’s most recognizable and celebrated sports stadiums at both the professional and collegiate levels.
HNTB Sports is known for developing award-winning and transformative facilities. Regionally, HNTB served on the team that created Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento, and renovating Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, as well as partnering on the new Las Vegas Raiders project set to open this year. Some of HNTB’s finest work in college athletics includes renovations inside The Horseshoe at The Ohio State University as well as the Big House at the University of Michigan.
But Sacramento won’t be HNTB and Prado’s first foray in soccer, as the company is currently serving as the architect for Columbus Crew SC’s new stadium.
Prado, originally from Rosario, Argentina, has included a number of unique features in his vision that will only amplify the atmosphere inside the grounds. He’s emphasized canopy-level seating above a 360-degree pedestrian concourse with open-air views of downtown. Field-level seating will allow fans to feel like their part of the action while passionate supporters can find themselves in safe-standing sections with terraces hovering above.
“I can tell you without a doubt that when it opens, it’s going to be one of the most unique, exciting arenas in MLS,” Prado told the Sacramento Business Journal. “It’s going to be quite an experience.”
Excited about experiencing a Republic FC match inside that brand-new stadium? So are we! All supporters seeking more information about the development at The Railyards or those interested in placing a deposit for a seat in the new stadium for a 2022 MLS match, please visit https://am.ticketmaster.com/sacrepublicfc/mlsdeposit#/