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Elk Grove Unveils Pro Soccer Stadium Plans
January 23, 2015
The City of Elk Grove will unveil the plans for its proposed soccer stadium and competitive fields at next Wednesday's Elk Grove City Council meeting.
According to a staff report prepared for the meeting, the proposed facility is estimated to cost between $105.1 and $117.7 million dollars with the stadium accounting for $43.7 million of the entire costs. Although the report said the city would seek unspecified private partnerships, the document did not detail how the facility would be financed.
In the past, Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis suggested the city could issuerevenue bonds, which incur higher interest rates because they are higher risk. Under California law, revenue bonds do not require voter approval.
Highlights of the facility include a 9,000 seat stadium, 12 full-sized and four practice soccer pitches. Other features includes parking for 3,000 cars and 15-acres without permanent structures to be used as a possible site for the Sacramento County Fair.
The report says the build-out of the stadium could be phased-in. Major League Soccer, which Mayor Gary Davis has doggedly pursued for an expansion franchise with former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, has long said they desire stadiums for expansion franchises in urban areas with seating for at least 20,000.
Although the report does not specifically address the city'swidely-agreed upon slim chancesof landing an expansion franchise, it noted that based on the number of registered youth soccer players in Elk Grove, the city and its consultants believe it could support clubs from the MLS or the fledgling North American Soccer League (NASL). The NASL currently has 11 teams with a leagueaverage attendancein 2014 of 5,619 for its Fall season and 5,267 for the Spring half season.
The proposed facility will be build on the 99-acre Grant Line Road site the city purchased last year. Because that site is outside current boundaries, the city said it will seek to annex the property through the sphere of influence (SOI) process with the Sacramento Local Agency Formation Commission.
The report implied that the SOI application would be only for the 99-acre site, but did not categorically rule out annexation of nearby parcels. This site and nearby parcels were in the city's original SOI, but were dropped after an outcry from a coalition of environmentalist, agricultural interests, smart growth advocates and residents from Wilton over concerns of building residential neighborhoods in the environmentally sensitive flood plain of the Consumes River basin.
According to the report, at this point in the planning process the project is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act, but would be subjected to a full environmental impact report should it proceed.
Wednesday's meeting starts at 6 p.m.
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