A stadium built as home for a Major League Soccer franchise in Sacramento’s old downtown railyard would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the city, an economic analysis shows. Artist’s rendering
A stadium built as home for a Major League Soccer franchise in Sacramento’s old downtown railyard would generate millions of dollars in revenue for the city, an economic analysis shows. Artist’s rendering

City Beat

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City Beat

Sacramento MLS proponents tout study showing economic benefits

By Ryan Lillis

rlillis@sacbee.com

October 05, 2015 11:01 AM

A new privately financed Major League Soccer stadium in Sacramento’s downtown railyard would attract up to 500,000 visitors and generate millions of dollars annually for the city and region, according to an economic analysis commissioned by backers of the city’s MLS bid.

Roseville-based Capitol Public Finance Group estimated in its report released Monday that a new $150 million stadium would generate $30.5 million of “economic activity” each year in the city. That includes money spent inside and outside the stadium on meals, merchandise and lodging.

In addition to that spending, the study found a new stadium would account for up to $900,000 in annual tax and fee revenue for the city of Sacramento. An estimated 1,755 jobs would be created during stadium construction and another 220 jobs once the facility is completed.

The study was commissioned by Think Big, a group formed by Mayor Kevin Johnson that led the drive to keep the Kings from moving to Seattle and to construct a new basketball arena downtown, and is helping in the push for Sacramento to land an expansion spot in MLS. The group is funded by private donations.

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The report states Republic FC has set 2018 as a target date for opening the new stadium. However, construction of the project would only occur should Sacramento earn an MLS expansion spot.

The economic impact study is part of a yearlong effort by the mayor and Republic FC to prove to MLS that the city can support a franchise in the country’s premiere professional sports league. A detailed stadium financing plan and funding term sheet are expected to be released later this year.

Critics of stadium economic studies in the past have questioned how much additional benefit a new sports facility provides, suggesting that much of the spending is redirected from other parts of the region and that team owners and players spend and invest a large share of their earnings elsewhere. But those critics have focused largely on publicly financed stadiums when construction relies on a large taxpayer subsidy; Sacramento Republic owners have said they intend to privately finance their MLS home.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis