NBA Kings ownership looking to purchase Sacramento Republic FC

SacramentoRepublicFCLogo (SacRepublic)

By TATE STEINLAGE 

On the heels of setting a single-season USL PRO attendance record, Sacramento Republic FC is making headlines once again.

Representatives from the Sacramento Kings are reportedly in discussions with the USL PRO side to buy the franchise and expand it to Major League Soccer by 2020.

Kings President Chris Granger will travel to Portland this week for the MLS All-Star game to talk with current Republic owner Warren Smith and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. MLS officials are also scheduled to be in attendance during Wednesday’s meeting.

Minority Kings owner Kevin Nagle recently sounded off on the scope of soccer in Sacramento, providing insight on the Kings’ interest in the Republic.

“It makes all the sense in the world to figure out how to align collectively – soccer and basketball,” Nagle told the Sacramento Bee. “It would enable us to take advantage of all the synergies available in marketing and sponsorships … To be a better enterprise to respond to the wants and needs of our fans.”

One Sacramento group hopes to have a new Republic ownership and stadium plan in place by September when the MLS board of governors meets to talk soccer in Sacramento. 

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What do you make of the Kings possibly purchasing the Republic? Could that help bolster expansion talks?

Share your thoughts below.

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63 Responses to NBA Kings ownership looking to purchase Sacramento Republic FC

  1. PD says:

    FC republic = easily the coolest club name in MLS in 2020.
    “Sacramento Republicans” = easily the most divisive team nickname ever.

    • Ian says:

      But they could use Ronald Reagan as a mascot. That’d be fun.

    • JosiahTheChosenOne says:

      Emperor Norton, the first and only emperor of the California Republic.

    • EQeki says:

      If they use the Old railway Land for a stadium, then Sacramento should incorporate some kind of name out of that!

      I think Republic sounds stupid. Im surprised they didnt use the Star Wars logo for a crest

  2. Drew11 says:

    MLS doesn’t really need another western time zone team. But if these folks build a SSS and cut a franchisee fee check for $100 million it will be hard for Garber to turn them down.

    • beto says:

      Unless you want SKC in the west need more teams out here… Thats irrelevent tho, what MLSneeds is quality owners, fan bases and cities committed to the sport. Considering the talent in California, lack of other pro teams there and the already excellent support they get this sounds like a winner.

      Welcome to the league Sacramento Republic

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        Beto dishing out TRUTH!

        I whole heartedly agree. Sacramento is showing support for the game in their city. We need more ownerships who are ready cater to these fans and who want to grow the sport organically.

    • Cabrito says:

      MLS doesn’t need one team in the Southeast. I’d rather have a successful expansion team out West.

      • Andy in Atlanta says:

        The MLS needs market expansion into place they are not already in…hence Atlanta and Miami (maybe)…. Atlanta will succeed if people let it… already sold well over 5000 seat licenses to buy season tickets…

        • Ian says:

          “Atlanta will succeed if people let it” What does that mean? That sounds very supply-side. I think we’ve seen the demand-side strategy works best. “If they come, build it.”

    • Ian says:

      With the exception of Chivas USA, every team in the Pacific time zone draws high attendance figures. Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and LA all draw at least 20,000 fans per game, and SJ is only limited by its small facility, which is always at capacity.

      But it really comes down to the local market. Sacramento looks like it will support a team in MLS. There isn’t much competition from other sports, and there’s not much else to do up there.

      • Mark says:

        The only competition is AAA baseball, the Sacramento Rivercats, the A’s triple A affiliate – which they love in Sacramento, but Major League Soccer would be a bigger draw because of the size of the cities they are playing against. My brother lives in Sacramento – they love to think of themselves as a major city. They would really buy into beating the teams from bigger cities. They really take pride in that kind of thing as a community.

        • Ian says:

          I can already hear the “Beat LA” chants.

        • r.benjamin says:

          I used to live in Sac and I’d agree. Much different dynamic than SF or SJ. More Portland vibe than Bay Area or certainly LA. They’d probably play up the SJ silicon angle just to counter it.

          If they could get a stadium near downtown at CSUS or even en large Bonney they’ve shown they’ll draw.

          everyone I know living there has taken pride in the team. Even non soccer fans ..

          amazingly I still think an SF team in GG park / Kezar would also thrive maybe even better than in SJ. Of course all three would be a huge pipe dream.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            This.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            Might change my name to RepublicOtis if they get the Sac team right.

          • PleaseLeaveAReply says:

            r. benjamin,
            can you imagine if MLS has divisions when Sacto comes in and the’re paired with Sea, Port, Van, and RSL in a Northwest division? That would be crazy, and most def the most intense in all of mls

            • r.benjamin says:

              Most definitely. It would be great. Although SJ and Sac would def have to be in the same division .. North Coast Division.. RSL might be too east.

              I talked to my Sounders fan brother in law today we talked just this and how it would add to the strength the west coast brings to MLS.

  3. Jay Boca says:

    Pro soccer clubs aligning with pro teams from other sports (not NFL) makes a ton of sense.

    Takes out much of the risk compared to building all the team operations up from scratch.

    Works in Europe, can work here.

    • Tony T says:

      It does make sense, which is why it has already happened many times: Kraft, Allen, Maple Leafs, Red Bull, and especially Hunt & Anschutz. It is happening more all the time: Yankees.

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        I appreciate the work the Hunts did for MLS. But in recent years that ownership hasnt done much. FC Dallas is an irrelevant brand in the DFW sports scene.

        I dont see the Hunts doing anything to change that. I think new blood ownership group could do wonders for FCD. With that being said, the Krafts are hands down the WORST ownership in MLS.

  4. RK says:

    I doubt that Don Geronimo was in attendance.

  5. Tony T says:

    It does make sense, which is why it has already happened many times: Kraft, Allen, Maple Leafs, Red Bull, and especially Hunt & Anschutz. It is happening more all the time: Yankees.

  6. Dan says:

    I’m glad that MLS seems to have gotten the right idea here. The most successful franchises have been those in smaller markets with a more passionate fan base (see: SKC, Salt Lake, Portland etc.) rather than cookie-cutter teams in the traditional big markets (see: New England, Chicago etc.). Good move if it actually works out.

    • Ian says:

      I’m a Galaxy fan and I’ll throw LA into that list of traditional big markets where soccer is not thriving. The Gs draw decent numbers but rarely sell out, and the number of truly passionate, diehard supporters is relatively small. I blame it on all the other sporting options in the LA metro area. All those Mexican/Chicano fans who were “supposed” to support Chivas? They’re at Dodger games (that’s why even us gringos lovingly call them Los Doyers).

      • EQeki says:

        LA Galaxy needs a state of the art 40,000 seat stadium in downtown LA

        Copy exactly like that NFL proposed stadium but make it 40,000 seats

        • Mark says:

          I completely agree. I’m actually worried that Chivas USA is going to build a stadium in downtown and re-name it Los Angeles FC. That’s a big problem for the LA Galaxy.

          Couple of issues that plague the LA Galaxy are:

          1. The name is cheesy. It harkens back to the early days of MLS when we thought we had to have gimmick names (Tampa Bay Mutiny, Dallas Burn etc.) The best name to attract Latinos and all American fans would have been to call it Los Angeles FC.

          2. Carson is soooo far away, and there is no decent public transport to get there from the Valley, West LA, East LA or Downtown. With the expansion of rail into the downtown area, a SSS would be a very attractive location.

  7. Vic says:

    Good idea. Hopefully MLS gets rid of or moves Chivas USA out of LA as well.

  8. Del Griffin says:

    Isn’t Sacramento 50 mils from SF? And San Jose is 25 miles from SF? Shouldnt there just be one team in SF and Sacramento and San jose people can just go there?

    • William the Terror says:

      Yeah? You ever try driving down Interstate 80 from Sacramento to the Bay Area? Better give yourself three to four hours to make a night game at seven or eight.

    • Cabrito says:

      SF has nothing to do with either city. Sac is 110 miles from SJ. Not exactly around the corner.

    • AMP says:

      even though you seem strangely confident for a question asker, who clearly ain’t from ’round here, i’ll try to give you an honest answer.

      no.

      in ideal conditions, it’s still about an hour to SF from SJ, and two hours from Sac. for a little context, it’s like an hour and a half from NY to Philly.

      SF should eventually have a team, but not at the expense of other somewhat nearby cities.

      • Del Griffin says:

        Yeah I just looked at a map thats all. It was an honest question.

        Seemed weird to have two teams in second level cities nearby one huge city. To continue your Philly analogy, It would be like having an MLS team in Scranton and Wilmington, but none in Philly.

        No offense meant guys!

        • EQeki says:

          SF is a big city. San Jose is a big city (Silicon Valley). Does Scranton And Willington have: Google, Apple, Ebay, HP, Facebook, Samsung, Cisco is their area? NO

          Why do you think we got 2 NFL teams and 2 MLB teams in our area? We got Money !!!

          NBA denied Larry Ellison to bring the NO hornets to San Jose!

          MLS would benefit greatly if Sacramento and SF both got a team.

          MLS has always strived to have teams close to eachother because of the size of the US. Travel is the biggets complaint among the Euro players

    • Ian says:

      Haha, Google Maps much? SF and Sac are 90 miles apart and it’s a very long, slow 90 miles at that. And culturally speaking, the cities might as well be in other states. California is BIG and diverse.

  9. EvertonUSA1 says:

    Based on the turnout at the Charlotte game to see two international teams play, I would say put a team in Charlotte or better, Raleigh, so as not to compete with the semi-pro Panthers in the NFL.

  10. NASL TO EL PASO TX says:

    Let me put it this way, if we want MLS and soccer to be USAs number one or two sport :) why get together with nba and nfl owners when, they will keep soccer as their second sport, aka red head stepchild.
    We all know, MLS will surpass NHL and MLB but NBA is now trying to enforce their league with a future champions league and international players, and we all know nfl is a monster league.
    So does MLS have a better future with nba owners, nfl owners or real soccer fan owners with little soccer experience.m
    MLS needs to be smart, given that soccer is the future sport of the US and any rich nba and nfl owner will think about making extra money in MLS.

    • Vic says:

      They’re not in direct competition with each other.

      • EQeki says:

        Funny because the Oakland A’s owner saved a prime piece of real estate in downtown SJ for the A’s (never will get approved) and bought second rate land for the SJ Earthquakes

    • Ian says:

      There’s nothing wrong with allying with owners of other sports franchises. The reality is these guys are businessmen. Businessmen want to make money. If they see soccer as a money-making opportunity, they’ll invest and cultivate a successful environment.

      America will always be a multi-sport country. The best case scenario for the USA is a sports landscape where soccer is held in the same esteem as the big four. It will never supplant any of the big four.

      • Del Griffin says:

        Disagree, football will be dead within a generation. Football is our parents boxing. Kids are already not playing due to health risks, without the kids you have no league.

        Soccer will be #1 in our lifetimes in US. According to me.

        • Ian says:

          I’ve heard/read this viewpoint before, but I’m not sure I buy it… yet.

          The NFL is the most profitable sports league in the world, according to Forbes. I don’t dispute the dangers of American football, but it’s still the most popular sport in the most sports-crazy country on earth, so if it is to lose its appeal and popularity, it’s going to take a long while. I don’t see a precipitous collapse happening in our lifetimes.

          I say all of that as someone who does not even have two sh*ts to give about football. I don’t even watch the Super Bowl. Commercials are lame, and football has them in spades.

        • Jay says:

          Lol that’s not happening. I can sense you want but unfortunately your wrong. The only way kids stop playing football in mass is if the money isn’t there. The rich suburban youth may stop playing but they aren’t who plays in the NFL anyway.

        • Dave says:

          This view is delusional. Boxing is still very popular, but was never as much so as baseball, football or basketball.

          It’s pretty clear that if soccer is going to be a big sport in this country, patience is necessary. The ridiculous insistence that “if soccer hasn’t outgrown every sport within 2 years, we shouldn’t even bother” is lunacy.

        • Quit Whining About Soccer in the US says:

          The problem with your logic Del Griffen is that even if the NFL does lose talent, and I agree with probably will, does it is matter ?

          Look at College Football. It is enourmously popular. It is minor league, but not just minor league, non-paying minor leauge football.
          But it doesn’t really affect the popularity…right or wrong, doesn’t matter, just true.

  11. twosevenstreet says:

    I want all decent sized cities with only one or two other pro teams to get a MLS team

    (Get rid of Miami, and give Beckham ChivasUSA)

    San Antonio
    Sacramento
    Indy
    Charlotte
    Vegas
    St Louis (for historic reasons)
    OKC

    This brings the league to 28 teams

    East

    IMFC
    TFC
    Revs
    NYCFC
    RBNY
    Philly
    DCU
    Char.
    ORL
    Crew
    Indy
    Fire
    St Louis
    SKC

    West
    Van
    Sea
    Por
    Sac
    SJE
    LAG
    LA2
    Vegas
    RSL
    Rapids
    FCD
    Hou
    San An
    OKC

    • Spandlegax says:

      BTW…ATL will be launching a team in 2017

    • beto says:

      always thought that three divisions of 9 (27 teams total) would be a nice way to fill out the league. 16 games vs. you division rivals (1 home and 1 away) + 1 game vs the other 18 teams in the other two divisions = 34 games

      id add ATL, MIN, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Miami (at some point), Indy, Cosmos, San Antonio … St. Louis is the next one in if any of these don’t pan out..

  12. BornsteinSupremacy says:

    Kudos to Sacramento. I really do hope for the day that SF gets a team — if done right (e.g., good stadium location) it would be a signature franchise on the level of Seattle. SJ just isn’t the same — I can get to a Quakes game about once a season, and don’t feel especially connected to San Jose anyway, but with SF, I’d absolutely be a sth, and I know a lot of people who feel the same. A lot of young, cosmopolitan, passionate, and/or affluent people here who’d love a team of their own. Not to mention it’d be a fun rivalry with SJ and Sacramento. Maybe some day …

    (and before anyone throws out the lack of success for prior SF teams, we’re talking apples and tangerines between a downtown MLS 3.0 franchise and a PDL squad playing kickaround out at USF)

  13. beachbum says:

    I’m already a big fan!

  14. Gone w/the Wind says:

    Excellent name and logo, dont change a damn thing! Just build a great urban venue! Good Luck out there!

  15. Gone w/the Wind says:

    …and Go Atlanta FC Battle !!!

  16. Gone w/the Wind says:

    eliminate Chivas USA as an MLS team transfer/sell the rights to this franchise allowing another west coast ownership group, with the right plan in place, to rebrand it as their vision for success for the league. i do not see a reason for two LA clubs, i’d rather see any other city get that opportunity. no one can compete in LA with the galaxy it’s similar to the Lakers, they should move the Clippers in the same manner