By FRANCO PANIZO
If Sacramento Republic FC are to make the jump to MLS in the near future, Kevin Nagle will be the man to help guide them there.
Republic FC announced on Thursday that local business owner Kevin Nagle, who has a stake in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, has joined the USL Pro club’s ownership group. Nagle plans to lead Sacramento’s efforts towards landing an MLS franchise, and will become Republic FC’s largest owner should the move come to fruition.
“I love Sacramento – its community, resilience and potential,” Nagle told the club’s website. “Early on, I admired Republic FC’s success and efforts to galvanize this region; its bid for MLS is not only about sports, but also a shared vision for Sacramento. I am honored to work side-by-side with mayor Kevin Johnson and Republic FC president Warren Smith to procure MLS for Sacramento and demonstrate why this region is built for MLS.”
Nagle is expected to meet with MLS officials when they visit Sacramento later this month to evaluate the area’s viability for an expansion team. He was recently at the MLS All-Star Game in Portland, Oregon, representing both Republic FC and the Sacramento Kings during mayor Johnson’s meeting with deputy commissioner Mark Abbott.
Additionally, Nagle will work closely on structuring an ownership group for a potential move to MLS and building a privately-financed soccer stadium.
“Kevin’s leadership and investment in Republic FC positions us as one of the top ownership groups in the sport,” Republic FC president Warren Smith told the club’s website. “His success, credibility and financial wherewithal provide us the capability to succeed with our MLS bid. But what first endeared me to Kevin and what I love most is his passion for Sacramento.”
Republic FC were founded in 2012 and have enjoyed plenty of success since making their on-field debut earlier this year. They broke the USL Pro record for season attendance in July, as an announced sellout crowd of 8,000 gave them 118,107 attendees this season. Orlando City previously held the record with 112,748.
MLS has announced that it will have 24 teams by the end of the decade, and the 24th franchise is said to be up for grabs by a number of cities.
What do you think of this development? Excited? Expecting Sacramento to make the move to MLS in the coming years?
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