Sacramento suburb thinks building a $100m soccer stadium would be “economic driver”

If you thought that everybody was already looking to get into the MLS expansion team race, you may need to expand your definition of “everybody.” The latest contender: Sacramento suburb Elk Grove, which according to the Sacramento Bee (paywall in place, but just cancel out before the nag box has loaded and you can read the article fine) “is shooting for a major league goal of building a $100 million soccer stadium filled with 18,000 screaming fans.” The Elk Grove city council “has not identified a revenue source” for building the stadium, writes the Bee, and doesn’t have a site, and doesn’t know whether there’s public support for any of this.

Still, they’re going ahead with exploring the idea, as they “see the proposal as an economic driver and a catalyst to finish construction of the abandoned Elk Grove Promenade mall.” Because surely developers will be all over building a mall once they find out that 18,000 fans, screaming or otherwise, will be driving past 17 times a year. If Elk Grove even ends up getting an MLS franchise, since it’d be in competition for one with Sacramento, along with about a billion other cities.

I have to hand it to MLS, frankly: They’ve managed to take what could have been seen as a disadvantage — they’re not quite popular enough to be considered a major sports league — and turned it into a selling point: By considering pretty much anyone for expansion franchises, regardless of market size, they’re getting all sorts of localities with delusions of grandeur (or at least “economic drivers”) to throw money at soccer-only stadiums. Though they still have a long way to go before they can catch the true pioneers of this strategy.


6 comments on “Sacramento suburb thinks building a $100m soccer stadium would be “economic driver”

  1. The stadium for the Rapids is in Commerce City, and it sucks driving all the way out there, just to watch that nonsense. Overall, it is entertaining and cheap, but the few times I’ve been I had to remind myself a couple of times that I was not watching a high school game. It’s something, and at least Sacramento and environs are making contingency plans if the can’t keep the Kings. Replace them with something else. I saw the Kings play in Denver just two or three weeks ago (on t.v.), and MLS really isn’t much worse than that team. Why does Cousins always have such a pissed off look on his face?

  2. They can build it but dontr count on an expansion team. Maybe Columbus, Since that city open up a can of worms by subsidizing the other team in town.

  3. That is a good point, Steven. MLS is already about the 50th best soccer league in the world. Normal soccer leagues only have 20 teams in the top-division at any one time. How many teams is the MLS going to end up with? I always figured the Cosmos would be the last team, but I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if they over-expand, and dilute the talent pool even further. When they get up to 32 teams, maybe Lauren Silberman can make one of them.

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