If an MLS team comes to the region, will you buy season tickets?

Leading Off: Home for MLS team keeps two sides apart

Published: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013 - 6:39 am

The two groups with the goal of bringing a Major League Soccer team to the region say they are willing to work together.

"There will be a time and a place for us to come together," Warren Smith said Tuesday. Smith heads Sacramento Pro Soccer, which will field a third-division USL Pro team at Hughes Stadium starting next spring. Smith believes the best way to lure the MLS is to first prove that the region can support a minor-league team.

"What's very important is to have one regional effort," Fabian Núñez said Wednesday. Núñez, the former Assembly speaker, is leading a group that is trying to bring an MLS team to Elk Grove.

One big issue separates the groups, however – where the team would play, Sacramento or Elk Grove.

"The MLS wants to be in downtown locations," Smith said. "I can't go to Elk Grove, that's not what the MLS wants."

Núñez, a member of the board of directors for U.S. Soccer, has a very different take.

"I spoke to (MLS Commissioner) Don Garber last week," Núñez said, "and that's not what he told me."

Núñez believes Elk Grove offers the best chance to bring an MLS team to the region, and city officials there are negotiating to purchase a site west of Highway 99 and south of Elk Grove Boulevard.

Meanwhile, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson told The Sacramento Bee's Ryan Lillis that he would be happy if his city ends up as the preferred spot. But, Johnson added, "if it makes even better sense to be somewhere else in our region, we all collectively win."

What to watch

Baseball, Giants at Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m., CSNBA: It's the finale of a series between struggling clubs that had been expected to be contenders.

Today's poll

If an MLS team comes to the region, will you buy season tickets?

• Yes

• No

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Wednesday's results

Will Giants fans cheer or jeer Brian Wilson when he returns to AT&T Park with the Dodgers?

• Cheer: 49%

• Jeer: 51%

Total votes: 189

Call The Bee's Tom Couzens, (916) 321-1097. Follow him on Twitter @tomcouzens.

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