|Country||United States of America|
|Category||Design awaiting implementation|
|Cost||$ 350 M|
|Design||MANICA, Machete Group|
Railyards Stadium – design description
Why should a new soccer stadium be built in Sacramento?
In December 2012, a group of businessmen who wanted to create a new football club in Sacramento were granted a licence to play in the USL Pro league from the 2014 season. At the time, the USL was considered the third most prestigious league in the United States, after the MLS and NASL (as of 2017, the USL is only behind the MLS). The new club was named Sacramento Republic FC, and the ambition of its officials was to join the MLS competition in the future.
Between March and July 2014, the club built its own temporary stadium on the Cal Expo grounds, with a capacity of 8,000 spectators (this was expanded in 2015 to a capacity of around 11,500 spectators). Before the new facility opened (it has been known as Heart Health Park since 2021), the team played its first league matches at Hughes Stadium, recording attendances in excess of 20,000 spectators, a record in the USL Pro league. The 2014 season was also extremely successful in sporting terms, with Sacramento Republic FC winning the competition in its USL Pro debut.
The club's long-term plans and ambitions to play in MLS meant that, from the very beginning, the officials thought about building a modern stadium that met the highest standards. This desire was further reinforced by good results and high interest. A site almost in the city centre, formerly occupied by railway infrastructure, was chosen as the preferred location. There are now plans to revitalise the area, and the construction of a football stadium is part of the plan.
What were the original plans for a stadium for Sacramento Republic FC?
The first, very preliminary renderings showing the new stadium in the chosen location appeared as early as 2014, while a completely new concept by award-winning studio HNTB was presented in December 2015.
The facility was to be given a closed form, with covered stands surrounding the pitch on all sides. The stylistically compact building was distinguished by red rhombuses on the facade, which were to refer to the red star - the symbol of California and the club itself. Inside, however, each stand was to have an individual character. The plan was for a capacity of 25,000 spectators. The estimated cost of the project was $226 million, which was to come mainly from private funds.
In April 2019, an updated version of the 2015 concept was unveiled. According to the new estimates, the development cost was to be $252 million and the capacity reduced to just over 20,000 spectators. In October 2019, it was announced that Sacramento Republic FC had been granted a licence to play in MLS from the 2022 season, so construction of the new stadium, which was one of the conditions for joining MLS, was due to start soon.
Why was the previous vision for a stadium for Sacramento Republic FC not implemented?
However, the COVID-19 pandemic and rising prices for materials and construction services caused delays in the project. In February 2021, the lead developer, Ron Burkle, withdrew from the project, resulting in the suspension of the MLS licence and putting the stadium project in serious doubt.
What is the new stadium concept for Sacramento Republic FC?
In April 2022, the club unveiled a new, slimmed-down stadium vision, prepared by studio MANICA in collaboration with Machete Group. According to the new design, the stadium will have four free-standing stands at each side of the pitch. There will be no spectator seating in the corners, although there will be above ground connectors to facilitate movement between the stands. The auditorium will not be covered and the façade will lack the red rhombuses that were one of the hallmarks of the previous design.
The facility would have a capacity of between 12,000 and 15,000 people (according to later reports, this figure was increased to 19,621 spectators). The assumed cost of the investment is $350m, significantly more than the estimated total of the old project before the pandemic. While the club's dream remains to enter MLS, with the new vision in place the team is likely to remain in the USL competition, which is growing in importance and popularity every year.
USA: California to gain another modern stadium?
Sacramento Republic FC plays day-to-day in the USL Championship which is the second tier of soccer in the US, behind the rapidly growing MLS. The team's management has made no secret of the fact that it would like to eventually join the elite, but this will only be possible once a new stadium is built.
California: Sacramento Republic's stadium still on schedule
Despite the coronavirus crisis growing by the day, the new MLS stadium in Sacramento is sill on track for its scheduled completion in early 2022. Construction should begin in the summer.
Sacramento: After MLS expansion, construction should follow soon
Design phase is now complete, final construction drawings are being delivered. By May or June of 2020 construction should begin, just in time to finish in early 2022, when Sac Republic will join MLS.
MLS expansion: Two more spots open for new teams
As some have speculated, the top division in USA will grow faster than set initially. Instead of 28 teams, the new goal is 30 and already now MLS is the largest league by club number.
MLS expansion: Will Sacramento snap expansion from St. Louis?
Two finalists left, decision expected soon. Sacramento Republic have overwhelming support for their stadium plan, while St. Louis is yet to release final renderings of theirs and cannot show a solid financial structure for it. Will we see another MLS team in California?
California: City of Sacramento agrees terms with Sac Republic
Just days after new renders of the Sacramento Republic were revealed, the mayor of Sacramento announced an agreement was reached regarding construction of the MLS stadium.
USA: Meet MLS expansion finalists
Four cities and four stadium plans are left in the fight for a place in MLS. Who will join the league in 2020? We'll know on December 6. Remaining bidders will have to try again.
Sacramento: That's how you consult stadium ambiance
The stadium design already includes expectations of many fans. Now Sacramento Republic go further and open crucial zones of the stadium to public consultation in their 'Citizen Architects' project.
New designs: The MLS race explained
The American soccer league will grow by 4 teams by 2022. Despite entry fee set at record high $150 million a whopping 12 business groups decided to fight for a spot.
California: Republic stadium greenlighted
Sacramento Republic have reasons for joy as their proposed stadium was approved by the city council. It might be one of most football-friendly venues across the US.
California: Step forward for Sacramento Republic stadium
A plan to build a 25,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium in Sacramento’s downtown railyard is moving forward. A Capital Public Radio report.