NEW YORK (AP) — Main League Soccer says Ron Burkle has backed out of plans for an growth workforce in Sacramento, California, that was scheduled to begin play in 2023.
The league mentioned in a press release Friday night time that Burkle’s resolution was “primarily based on points with the mission associated to COVID-19.”
MLS introduced the Sacramento Republic as its twenty ninth workforce on Oct. 21, 2019, and mentioned then the workforce would begin play in 2022. MLS mentioned July 17 that Sacramento wouldn’t begin play till the 2023 season as a result of of the pandemic. On the time, the league delayed Charlotte, North Carolina, till 2022 and St. Louis till 2023.
MLS expanded to 26 groups final 12 months with the addition of Miami and Nashville, Tennessee. Austin, Texas, joins this season, which is scheduled to begin April 17.
Sacramento’s introduced possession group included Burkle, founder of The Yucaipa Cos. and an proprietor of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, as lead investor. He was joined by leisure government Matt Alvarez and Kevin Nagle, an investor in the NBA’s Sacramento Kings who had spearheaded the bid for MLS growth since 2014.
Burkle’s group had deliberate a $300 million soccer-specific stadium on a 14-acre web site downtown and signed a take care of UC Davis Well being to be its MLS jersey sponsor.
However the group had run into price points with the proposed stadium web site and had but to break floor on the proposed 21,000-seat stadium. There additionally was rising concern the workforce wouldn’t give you the chance to begin till 2024.
The present Sacramento Republic, based in December 2012, performs in the second-tier United Soccer League Championship.
“After working for a few years to convey an MLS workforce to Sacramento, the league continues to imagine it may be a fantastic MLS market,” MLS mentioned in a press release. “Within the coming days, the league will work with Mayor Darrell Steinberg to consider doable subsequent steps for MLS in Sacramento.”
MLS Commissioner Don Garber mentioned he stays optimistic about finalizing plans for the league’s thirtieth workforce.
MLS’s 2020 season began Feb. 29 however was interrupted after March 8 by the pandemic. The season resumed July 8 and every workforce performed 23 regular-season video games, down from 34 initially scheduled.
As a fallout from pandemic restrictions, attendance dropped from practically 9 million to about 750,000.