49ers and NBA Kings ante up on Sac MLS bid

Sacramento Republic FC ownership continues to grow with the announcement that San Francisco 49ers owner and CEO Jed York and other 49ers owners will invest in the USL PRO club, which is pushing to land an MLS franchise. That follows the move by the NBA Sacramento Kings to join the Republic investment group.

“We shared early on our desire to have the Sacramento Kings as a part of our efforts to secure MLS for Sacramento,” Republic lead investor Kevin Nagle said in a club statement after the Kings' announcement. “Their investment in Republic FC and support of our bid for expansion rights is just one more reason why we are ‘Built for MLS.’”

Republic FC is looking at a site at Sacramento's downtown rail yards, where the club intends to build a stadium. The club has attracted significant support from local investors.

In its first USL PRO season in 2014, Republic FC won the USL PRO title and averaged a league-record 11,293 fans per game.

Sacramento is in a tough expansion fight. MLS has committed to expand to 22 teams in 2017 and move into Miami if a stadium location can be finalized. That would leave one spot available for MLS's stated goal of expanding to 24 team by 2020. Minnesota -- with two competing groups -- has been considered the favorite but Sacramento has made an aggressive bid, similar to that of another longshot out of USL PRO, Orlando City.

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