Sacramento will go ahead with plans to build a new stadium despite being overlooked for Major League Soccer expansion. The California city’s Sacramento Republic FC was recently a strong candidate to become the league’s 30th franchise. However, MLS officials eventually chose San Diego after Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour agreed to a $500 million expansion fee.

“We are moving forward with a first-class stadium in The Railyards,” Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg told The Sacramento Bee. “Hopefully, it will be in partnership with Major League Soccer but either way we are going to work in partnership with the Sac Republic team, the community, and the fan base to bring years of great soccer to Sacramento.”

Current Sacramento stadium would be smallest in MLS

Sacramento Republic FC currently plays home matches at Heart Health Park in the USL Championship. The stadium only just opened in 2014 and accommodates just over 11,000 fans. The city’s new proposed stadium could seat up to 25,000 people for home matches. Although, organizers want to be flexible on the arena’s capacity depending on which league they play in.

Republic FC owner Kevin Nagle also discussed the decision with the aforementioned news outlet. “Our focus continues to be on how Republic FC can be the best club it can be for the region, to continue to invest in our community, and play winning soccer,” proclaimed Nagle.

MLS could pick club in future expansion

Nagle also reiterated that MLS’s announcement to award San Diego its next franchise would not change the club’s plans. The new arena will go ahead as planned to essentially reward the team’s fanbase, while also showing readiness for the top-flight league.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has not ruled out the league having more than 30 clubs. Sacramento will remain one of the top candidates for an expansion franchise in the future should the league continue to grow. The team’s current arena would easily be the small stadium in the MLS. However, the new stadium would be in line with most other top-flight arenas currently in the league.