The parent company of USL club Sacramento Republic FC has hired Legends as project manager for the development of a soccer-specific stadium in downtown Sacramento, a project it believes is key to an MLS expansion bid.
The privately financed stadium could be ready as soon as the 2018 MLS season, pending the league awarding the city a franchise, according to sources familiar with the project.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has stated that the 20-team league is committed to reaching 24 teams by 2020. Future teams are slated for Atlanta and Los Angeles, but ongoing stadium issues in Miami and recent developments in Minneapolis have kept the door open for Sacramento.
The possibility of the league expanding beyond 24 teams has fueled hope as well.
Dale Koger, Legends senior vice president of project development, will lead the Sacramento project.
“Our goal is to have feasibility studies, concept designs, pricing and a term sheet all completed by Q4 of this year so that there can literally be a package presented to the league that will outline the development plan,” Koger said.
The hiring of Legends represents the next step in Sacramento’s Operation Turnkey, the initiative launched this year by Mayor Kevin Johnson and by Kevin Nagle, managing partner of Republic FC owner Sac Soccer & Entertainment Holdings, to obtain an MLS team for the city.
Legends brings a degree of local expertise to the stadium effort. The company was retained by the Sacramento Kings to manage food and beverage services at the team’s new Golden 1 Center, opening in fall 2016. Legends also was retained by the San Francisco 49ers to manage the sale of premium inventory for the launch last year of Levi’s Stadium.
Both the Kings and 49ers are investors in the parent company of Republic FC.