(Rail) yards Stadium work chugs on merrily



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Sacramento Republic Stadium May 2020 Image: HNTB/Sacramento Republic

The new Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium in Sacramento (California, US) is still on course for its scheduled completion in early 2022 notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic. Construction should begin in the summer.

COVID-19 beat to pulp the California region and some of the stringent public health policies were adopted. Yet, the construction business is going on merrily for several projects in California. This includes Sacramento’s Railyards, the 240-acre (97-hectare) megaproject that will see the city’s downtown expand hugely in size.

The Railyards Stadium is a proposed 21,000 seat soccer-specific stadium to be built in Sacramento, California for Sacramento Republic FC. The stadium will be a part of the Sacramento Railyards redevelopment project.

Sacramento Republic Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in Sacramento, California, that plays in the Western Conference of the United Soccer League (USL) Championship. California’s capital city Sacramento has been awarded an MLS expansion team with Sacramento Republic FC becoming the league’s 29th team and beginning play in MLS in 2022.

By far, the new Republic FC’s stadium has gone in for a publicity blitzkrieg, expected to hold a little over 20,000 people. After initial hiccups, the project is still on schedule. Planning works are continuing, even though the same is being carried out more remotely.

Earlier, it was estimated that work on the ground could begin in June or July of this year and so far there has been no change in the plan at all.

“We’re not changing our timeline right now. For now, we’re going to keep pushing,” said Ben Gumpert, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Republic FC.

This comes as a piece of good news not only for all Republic fans, but also for citizens of Sacramento, many of whom have lost their jobs. Because along with the new stadium, other projects within the Railyards are set to move forward this summer, including the first batch of housing (300 apartments), as well as the city’s long-awaited new courthouse.

The stadium itself presently has a timeline of 21 months from groundbreaking to delivery. If everything goes as planned, it means February of 2022, just in time for the 2022 MLS season. Of course, coronavirus situation has taken such a worse turn in hotspot US, that one could not be 100 percent sure of meeting all expected deadlines. But, even a slip of a few months could be accommodated within the league fixtures for 2022 and allow Republic to play all home games at the new $300-million venue.

In early December 2015, the Sacramento Republic football team presented renderings of their planned stadium in the capital of California. It’s going to stand in the place of former railyards, a massive region being revitalized just north of downtown.
 

Sacramento Republic Football Club Stadium rewind

The development is expected to run in the public-private partnership (PPP) form, but the stadium’s cost should be covered entirely by Sac Soccer and Entertainment Holdings (SSEH), parent holdings of the football club. The city of Sacramento by late 2015 has already spent under $50 million to provide roads and other utilities to the area, while the stadium should consume some $180-226 million.

The stadium’s concept was conceived after consultation with roughly 3,500 supporters and utilizes some interesting architectural and cultural associations. In aesthetic terms, this compact ground’s eye-catcher is the façade made of red diamonds. These are inspired by the red star, a symbol for California and the Republic FC.

Continuous roof and single-tiered stands are expected to create a more European atmosphere. Meanwhile, the north end would have a separate terrace for most ecstatic fans with its own entrances and infrastructure in an attempt to mimic the famous barras bravas (read hooligans) of Latin America.

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