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Sacramento Republic FC Eyeing Cal Expo As Temporary Home For Inaugural Season

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After months of searching, it appears the Sacramento Republic FC will play their matches at Cal Expo.

The site best known for holding the California State Fair may also be the home of professional soccer in Sacramento this spring.

"Clearly there is a huge market and excitement about soccer so for Sac Republic to potentially have a new field to play on here excites us," said Cal Expo CEO Rick Pickering.

A $2.5 million temporary stadium will be built by Ovations where the Bill Graham Presents Amphitheater was. It would hold up to 8,000 fans and will likely resemble the structure the Sacramento Capitals tennis team plays in, but with a few additional upgrades.

"It creates a lot of synergy," Pickering said. "We already have a water park, we have the fairgrounds with hundreds of events a year, so the opportunity to let more people enjoy the amenities makes sense."

The team confirmed CBS13's report of their interest in a statement on Wednesday: "Sacramento Republic FC is excited and encouraged by the proposal between Ovations and Cal Expo and the opportunity to play professional outdoor soccer on a full grass pitch in this new facility at Cal Expo.

Cal Expo has the backing of Major League Soccer, which is what the club aspires to join some day. There is also access to freeways to and from the facility and plenty of parking.

But it's still not a done deal.

"The legalese still needs to have all the deal pints wrapped around them," said Pickering. "The attorneys still need to do their part. We still need to review the fiscal components but we are much closer than we ever have before."

A board meeting to review the plan is set for Thursday. A final vote is likely to come in the middle of December.

If all goes as planned, the stadium would be ready for the club's first match in March.

The team is also close to an affiliate agreement with the Portland Timbers of the MLS.

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