Sacramento Republic FC spokeswoman Erika Bjork describes what is in store Thursday, April 14, 2016, on a closed block of L Street when locals welcome MLS Commissioner Don Garber to town with a block party. Bill Lindelof The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Republic FC spokeswoman Erika Bjork describes what is in store Thursday, April 14, 2016, on a closed block of L Street when locals welcome MLS Commissioner Don Garber to town with a block party. Bill Lindelof The Sacramento Bee

Soccer

Sacramento’s goal? Impress MLS commissioner with a block party downtown today

By Bill Lindelof

blindelof@sacbee.com

April 14, 2016 08:12 AM

A downtown block usually packed with motorists going to work is closed to traffic as organizers set up for party to convince the country’s major league soccer commissioner that Sacramento would be a good place for a new franchise.

The block party to welcome Major League Soccer’s Commissioner Don Garber will be held on L Street between 15th and 16th streets. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Crews were setting up a stage and road barricades Thursday morning before the sun cam up and in advance of fans who are invited to gather and party.

Sacramento Republic FC, the local minor league club, said the festivities will include food trucks, beer, games, Republic FC players and a question and answer session with Garber.

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The UEFA Europa League matches, including stage two of the quarterfinal between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC, will be shown live at de Vere’s Irish Pub, Firestone Public House and the block party main stage on L Street.

Sacramento Republic FC officials released new drawings for their planned $226 million Major League Soccer stadium Wednesday, a day ahead of Thursday's visit by Garber.

The renderings place fans close to the action, said Kansas City, Mo.-based HNTB, the stadium's architect.

The stadium, proposed for 16 acres in the northeast corner of the downtown Sacramento railyard, would be built only if Sacramento was granted admission to MLS.

Sacramento Republic FC opened the USL season hosting Arizona United SC on Saturday night, April 2, 2016 at Bonney Field. Sacramento won the match 1-0. McClatchy

A younger, less experienced Sacramento Republic FC begins the 2016 USL season looking to return to the championship form of its inaugural year two seasons ago. The team had a sizable offseason makeover that included the departure of five starters, Patty Couse-BakerThe Sacramento Bee

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews