Sacramento soccer stadium would seat 19,621 for starters

Sacramento’s proposed Major League Soccer stadium would seat 19,621 fans at first, but could be expanded to as many as 25,000, according to plans filed this week.

The plans, filed with the city of Sacramento’s planning division, spell out in greater detail Sacramento Republic FC’s vision of an MLS stadium at the downtown railyard. The $226 million privately financed stadium would be built only if Sacramento is granted an MLS expansion team, a prospect that is extremely likely.

Besides the fixed seating, the plans say the stadium could hold up to 2,000 standing-room-only patrons for special events such as the MLS All-Star Game or major concerts.

As previously reported, the stadium would be built with seating at a steep angle in an effort to replicate the fan experience found at many European and South American venues.

“As we gathered input for the design, we heard a strong interest in fans being close to the pitch,” the team said in its filing. “The seating bowl rake is designed to be the steepest in Major League Soccer (approximately 32 degrees), providing great sight lines and a unique and intimidating atmosphere that puts fans close to the action.”

Exactly when the stadium would get built remains unclear. Republic FC executives have said they could probably get a project done by 2018; MLS Commissioner Don Garber announced during a visit to Sacramento in April that the city is all but certain to gain admission to the league by 2020.

Republic FC officials said in the city filing that the stadium would likely be used 33 times a year, with average annual attendance of 470,000. If the stadium gets expanded to 25,000, the average annual attendance would grow to 667,000.

Dale Kasler: 916-321-1066, @dakasler