Sacramento joining MLS, will begin play in 2022

Sports

Major League Soccer has awarded its 29th franchise to Sacramento.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced the league’s newest team Monday, joined by Mayor Darrell Steinberg and California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Sacramento Republic FC is set to begin play in 2022.

The team’s ownership group includes lead investor Ron Burkle, an owner of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as entertainment executive Matt Alvarez and Kevin Nagle, an investor in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings who has spearheaded the bid for MLS expansion since 2014.

The addition of Burkle and Alvarez earlier this year accelerated negotiations. The Sacramento Republic currently plays in the lower-tier USL Championship league.

The group’s plans include a new $300 million soccer-specific stadium on a 14-acre site downtown.

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