Sacramento broke ground last week on a new soccer stadium, and Mayor Darrell Steinberg said at the ceremony that, “Sacramento is proving once again our indomitable spirit as a city that delivers. We’re also cautiously suggesting that rich white men are good for something.”
The privately-financed $245 million stadium won’t be completed until 2020, and Major League Soccer has not awarded an expansion team to Sacramento. The 406,000 square-foot facility will be situated on a 14.9-acre site at the old railyards, just blocks from the Golden 1 Center. When finished, it will seat 20,000 people.
Kevin Nagle, the rich white male CEO of Sacramento Republic FC, has already spent millions of dollars on the project. “This is 100 percent funding coming out of my pocket and my partner’s pocket, so people don’t have to worry about the risk,” he said
Not everyone is happy that a rich white man’s company will own the stadium. A majority of the City Council supported the city’s $255 million stake in the new Kings basketball arena, and the $18 million in annual debt service.
“Why isn’t the city paying its fair share for this project?” said Councilman Steve Hansen into a hot mic after the groundbreaking ceremony.
“Shut up, Steve,” said the mayor. “You’re white. What’s the f***ing problem?”
The mic went dead, but the two continued arguing until they noticed The SacBrie‘s reporter watching them. Then they hugged.
The stadium is also proving to be a magnet for homeless people all over northern California, who are already converging on the site in the hopes of getting a coveted camping spot.
Mayor Steinberg declined to discuss the homeless issue, so we asked Mr. Hansen.
“We just shut down the homeless camp at the County Courthouse,” he said. “But the railyards are less than a mile from there, so folks can walk over in just a few minutes. I’m not sure what else you want us to do.”