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Mayor: Elk Grove has held talks with an MLS team about moving to the Sacramento region



Elk Grove Mayor Jim Cooper said the city has held talks with a Major League Soccer team about moving to the Sacramento region, and said that a stadium could be built within four years.

"Without going too much in-dept, there have been discussions, I’ll say that, with an MLS team," Cooper said during his live chat with The Sacramento Press Wednesday.

 

 

Elk Grove is in the process of conducting a feasibility study, and the mayor recently visited Frisno, Texas, to learn more about that city’s soccer facilities.

Cooper said his plan is to bring the team to Elk Grove through a public-private partnership. The city would be open to using bonds to help finance a deal, but would not spend any “public money” directly.

MLS officials have indicated that the league is focused on adding another team in New York and then possibly one in the southeast – but haven’t commented on the possibility of an existing team moving to the Sacramento region.

Last week, Dan Courtemanche, MLS’s vice president of communication, said that the league is interested in Sacramento and sees the area has having a potentially strong fan base for an MLS team.

Cooper agreed with that sentiment, and cited Sacramento’s (and Elk Grove’s) diverse population and vibrant youth soccer system as indicators that a team could be successful in the region.

When asked about the prospect of a soccer stadium being constructed in Sacramento’s downtown railyards instead, he said he felt that Elk Grove already has a head start in pursuing an MLS team and that he hopes to have the city of Sacramento’s support in the effort.

After the live interview, Cooper said league officials have helped him and that he has the support of powerful private backers, including Fabian Nuñez, who has been involved in the effort to bring a team to Elk Grove since last year, according to The Sacramento Bee.

 
  • Nick Berruezo

    That would be amazing!

  • Would be better if it was a part of a Natomas Sports/Entertainment Complex with the Arena. Infrastructure is already in place. Why spend all the extra money if you already have an area that is ready for that kind of thing to be built? Not to mention this would be a more ideal area for the team then ELK Grove. Much more convenient for say Roseville/Folsom people and Elk Grove and everyone in between. This kind of sports team needs to be located in an area that will be easy for as many fans as possible to get to in order to survive and thrive in a small market. I agree this is a great idea and Bringing MLS is a far better idea then a Baseball team but Elk Grove is not the place to put it.

  • As much as I love Elk Grove (no sarcasm, I actually grew up there) I am worried it is too far out of the way to get the maximum spectator turnout for a MLS game. Soccer is generally not a first, second, or even third choice sport, and Sacramento doesn’t have the biggest market by population. I’m afraid asking fans of our potential MLS franchise to drive longer distances to the south area of Sacramento county would hurt the attendance numbers, which of course would affect revenues and even any minute desire for a franchise to reloate to Sacramento. Even with the NBA, I feel the Kings would see an uptick in attendance with a downtown arena vs our current one, due simply to location.

    Any guesses as to which team would relocate here? For the balance of the league I would guess an Eastern Conference team. The current break is 10 Eastern teams and 9 Western, not including the planned second NY team. It is hard to pick one from the list but maybe Columbus or New England? Kansas City would probably be the smallest market in the Eastern Conference, but they have a strong team this season and a huge fan following, so my guess would be the Columbus Crew…