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Cal Expo Board Approves Plan To Build Soccer Stadium

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Cal Expo board members approved a plan to build a soccer stadium which will host the inaugural season for the Sacramento Republic.

Fans rejoiced as the club is moving forward with plans to build an 8,000-seat stadium on the fairgrounds after approval from the Cal Expo board.

"Very exciting, as you could see from our response in singing 'Glory, Glory Sacramento,'" said Drew Farmer with Tower Bridge Battalion. "We are really excited about this."

SCHEDULE: Sacramento Republic inaugural season.

The food-service company Ovations and the Republic will construct and finance the $3 million stadium.

Club president Warren Smith says building their own field allows them to erect a soccer-specific stadium.

"We get to create a full pitch, and it will be one of the largest fields in the country," he said.

Cal Expo will not only provide the land, but will also receive some of the profits for allowing the stadium to be built.

"It is a new audience for us, and it is perhaps part of the regeneration of the state fairgrounds," said Cal Expo CEO Rick Pickering.

Part of that new crowd may be rugby fans. Mike Sophia, the head of the Sacramento Sports Commission, says even though the stadium has yet to be built, there's interest from the national rugby team for a match between the U.S. and Canada in June.

The department of general services still needs to officially sign off on the deal, but the club is hoping to host its first game in early May.

It's likely the team will play its first three home games at Hughes Stadium in Land Park until the Cal Expo site is finished. The season begins on the road on March 29.

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