The new minor-league soccer stadium under construction at Cal Expo will be called Bonney Field, named for a long-established Sacramento plumbing contractor.
Sacramento Republic FC, just days away from its regular-season debut, announced a stadium naming-rights agreement Monday with Bonney Plumbing, Heating, Air and Rooter Service.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but team President Warren Smith said Republic FC signed a five-year agreement that allows for the possibility of Bonney keeping the naming rights if Republic FC fulfills its dream of joining Major League Soccer and building a permanent stadium.
“We’re looking at it as a long-term investment,” said Jimmy Crabbe, co-owner and chief executive of Bonney, following the announcement at the construction site. “We have every reason to believe this will become an MLS franchise, and we would like to be a part of that.”
An expansion franchise in the USL Pro league, Republic FC plays its home opener Saturday at Hughes Stadium against the Harrisburg (Pa.) City Islanders. It will be the first of three games at the Sacramento City College venue while the Cal Expo facility is under construction.
The first game at Bonney Field is set for June 7 against Arizona United SC.
The 8,000-seat Cal Expo stadium is designed as a temporary venue, with portable grandstands. The $3 million project is largely financed by Ovations Fanfare, a food-service company owned by entertainment and sports conglomerate Comcast Spectacor. Republic FC is contributing to the financing as well.
Although Bonney’s name leaked a few minutes beforehand, Republic FC officials tried to inject a bit of drama into the announcement. As Smith spoke at a lectern in front of the stadium site, three Bonney trucks pulled up behind him. A host of Bonney employees piled out, including founders Mark and Candace Bonney, with everyone wearing Republic FC soccer scarves.
For now, the field is little more than raw dirt, but Smith said the project is on schedule.