Elk Grove buying 100 acres in bid to attract MLS team

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 - 5:23 pm

Elk Grove is buying a 100-acre parcel south of the city with an eye toward building a long-sought complex that would draw Major League Soccer to the city, Elk Grove officials confirmed today.

The nearly $4.4 million land deal for farmland at Grant Line Road and Highway 99 is expected to be approved tonight by Elk Grove City Council.

“There’s quite a bit of due diligence to do, but it’s a really good location,” said Elk Grove City Manager Laura Gill. “There may be other facilities that can go in there but we are considering that for a soccer complex. It’s a good investment.”

Elk Grove has been working for several years with Northern California Soccer, LLC, the group led by former Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, to bring professional soccer to the city.

The land purchase comes after the city of Sacramento has aggressively pursued a Major League Soccer franchise this summer, building off a successful first season by minor-league team Sacramento Republic FC. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento Kings President Chris Granger and Republic President Warren Smith made a pitch to MLS executives earlier this month, and MLS officials have agreed to visit Sacramento in September.

Elk Grove and Northern California Soccer have worked separately on a proposed $88 million, 18,000-seat stadium and complex. The city and Northern California Soccer have had an exclusive negotiating pact since 2011 that extends through the end of 2016.

“We’ve talked about a number of high priorities, but the common stumbling block is that we don’t have the land,” said Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis. “We want to purchase it so we can have it available.”

Call The Bee’s Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

Read more articles by Darrell Smith

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