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:
Railyards Stadium Flyover Rendering
Faces of Sacramento: Meet the supporters behind Republic FC
By MLS Soccer Staff
When Sacramento Republic FC were unveiled as Major League Soccer’s 29th club in October, for many of the club’s supporters that day represented the culmination of a long, five-year journey to bring MLS to Sacramento.
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.
MLS Momentum Continues With Positive Steps Towards Brand New Soccer-Specific Stadium
— City Council Unanimously Approves Term Sheet Accelerating Railyards Infrastructure Development —
SACRAMENTO (November 12, 2019) – Just over three weeks after the city of Sacramento received news it would become the 29th Major League Soccer expansion club, the good news kept flowing.
The Sacramento City Council unanimously voted 8-0 on Tuesday afternoon to agree in principle to loan up to $27.2 million to the city’s Major League Soccer investment group to pay for the infrastructure around the club’s planned Railyards stadium and surrounding downtown development. The funds for the investment will come directly from a city risk management fund which would finance roads, water and sewer lines, pedestrian walkways and a light rail station on what will be the future site of the brand new soccer-specific stadium. The loan represents an amendment to a $33 million incentive package that the City Council approved earlier this year.
“We help with infrastructure and in exchange we get Major League Soccer and over $1 billion in overall investment,” Mayor Darrell Steinberg said. “This is the spark that we have needed to take railyard development to another level.”
The stadium will anchor the ambitious development in The Railyards, which will double the size of Downtown Sacramento. The team’s new home, a 20,000+ seat venue, that will be 100% privately financed, will provide substantially more entertainment than just future MLS matches. The $300 million dollar venue will feature an enhanced fan-experience curated to showcase the best of the region and the values of our community.
The stadium itself, a 20,000+ seat venue that will be privately financed and cost $300 million, will provide substantially more entertainment than just future MLS matches. The venue, which will be constructed on a 31-acre parcel with the Railyards just east of Seventh Street, will host Men’s and Women’s National team games, friendlies, concerts, festivals and plenty of other sporting, civil and family events.
The intention is to provide more than just soccer to the Sacramento community. Even though the announcement of joining MLS last month and the recent approval of the loan to help fund the new stadium seem all well and good for the future of Republic FC, but it’s the greater Sacramento region as a whole that benefits the most from the news.
“October 21st. That was not the beginning and it’s certainly not the end,” Republic FC President & COO Ben Gumpert said to City Council on Tuesday regarding the famous day the club finally received the highly anticipated invitation from MLS.
“There’s much more work to do. There’s much more work for us to do and us to do together. There’s more to build, there’s more community partnerships to enact, there’s more celebrations in the stadium together. There’s more internships, construction jobs, fields to build. There’s more balls and equipment to give out to kids in every corner of the region. And hopefully there’s a lot more championship parades to be had on the very streets here of Sacramento.”
Aside from providing an entertaining product on the pitch, Republic FC is equally as focused on positive growth in the greater Sacramento region.
“That is our commitment in every facet of this partnership, to go above and beyond and exceed everything we can, because that is what it takes to make this successful and that’s certainly what our ownership group and everyone at Sac Republic is committed to,” Gumpert said.
“I’m excited to continue to work together to make sure this is all it can be. To do everything to bring forth and invest in every opportunity that this city, this fanbase, and certainly all the great people of Sacramento deserve.”
‘There is no rush.’ MLS holds key meeting, but Sacramento expansion bid still not finalized
By Tony Bizyak, The Sacramento Bee
Three months ago, upbeat Major League Soccer officials announced they were entering formal negotiations with a private investor group representing Sacramento in hopes of signing a deal as early as July to bring the capital city into the league.
That date has arrived, but no deal is signed, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said Wednesday, offering his first formal update since April.
Garber said he isn’t concerned the deal will fall through, and emphasized MLS and the Sacramento investment group continue talks on an almost daily basis. Mayor Darrell Steinberg is involved as well, Garber said.
Speaking at the league’s annual all-star game gathering here, Garber said it requires a huge investment of a half-billion dollars or more to enter the league.
“There are no hiccups,” Garber said. “These are lifetime decisions for an investor to make. These are massive commitments. It takes time.”
Garber defends pace of MLS expansion reveals
By Jeff Carlisle, ESPN
ORLANDO – MLS commissioner Don Garber told ESPN FC “it’s not remotely alarming” to him that that expansion deals for the cities of St. Louis and Sacramento haven’t been finalized.
Following an MLS Board of Governors meeting back in April, the league authorized Garber to advance into exclusive discussions with St. Louis and Sacramento with an eye towards those two cities being the 28th and 29th teams. Garber said at the time that he hoped to have the deals finalized by Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game.
Sacramento’s MLS dream may soon be reality. Here’s what we know about the stadium so far
By Michael McGough and Benjy Engel
Major League Soccer in Sacramento seems to be a few formalities away from becoming a reality following Thursday’s announcement the league would expand to 30 teams.
It’s good news for Republic FC fans: with three teams being added to the league, Commissioner Don Garber said after Thursday’s Board of Governor meeting frontrunners Sacramento and St. Louis are the only two cities approved to enter formal expansion discussions.
The discussions will involve Sacramento formally presenting the league with its stadium plans and proving that it has the necessary fan base and corporate support to hoist the city from the minors to the major league.
If all goes according to plan, Republic FC could compete in MLS by 2021 or 2022.
St. Louis, Sacramento set to make their case for MLS expansion
By Simon Borg, MLSsoccer.com
The MLS Board of Governors, the gathering of the league’s ownership group that takes place three times a year, has given the green light for league officials to begin “exclusive, formal discussions” with ownership groups in Sacramento and St. Louis for the chance to become clubs No. 28 and No. 29 in MLS.
“The decision to grant those teams has not been made, but they are both pretty far along,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber told media at a press gathering following the Board of Governors meeting in L.A. “There’s work that needs to be done in both markets.
What’s next for Sacramento Republic FC? Here’s what the team president says
Major League Soccer wasn’t expected to make news Thursday. The league was planning to add one expansion team and two cities, Sacramento and St. Louis, were in the running.
Then everything changed. The league decided to authorize three more teams at its Board of Governors meeting in Beverly Hills, and announced it was entering formal talks with Sacramento and St. Louis for two of them.
With a billionaire owner and a new soccer stadium ready to be built, Sacramento Republic FC sits on the precipice of becoming the area’s second major sports team. Team President Ben Gumpert held court with the media Thursday to talk about how far the club has come and where it’s going.
Sacramento, St. Louis Among Leading Candidates After MLS Announces Expansion to 30 Teams
By Brian Strauss
MLS set its expansion target at 28 teams, saw a bunch of interested investors in more than a dozen cities run a race to be among those selected and then concluded, why stop there?
So 30 it is. For now.
Following the league’s board of governors meeting Thursday afternoon in Los Angeles, MLS announced its commitment to expand to 30 clubs “in the coming years.” There currently are 24 teams, with another three coming aboard soon: Inter Miami and Nashville SC next year and Austin FC in 2021.
The two heavy favorites for slots No. 28 and 29 are Sacramento Republic, which has been vying for a spot since entering the USL in 2014, and St. Louis.