It was an unforgettable day for all of Sacramento.
When the club transformed in 2013 from an idea to a mission, the goal was always to one day compete at the top domestic level. On, October 21, 2019, that dream became a reality when MLS Commissioner Don Garber took the podium at The Bank and the world that Republic FC would rise to the top tier of American soccer. The day may have started early, but the party continued deep into the night.
The action all kicked off in the heart of downtown Sacramento at Solomon’s Delicatessen long before the sun was up.
As six o’clock approached, a podium was erected in front of the well-known local eatery that hoisted the silverware that Sacramento will soon be seeking when it officially begins play in Major League Soccer – the MLS Cup.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg enjoys a moment with the MLS Cup in front of Solomon's Delicatessen while chatting with members of the media.
Supporters that stopped by to take pictures with the trophy were surrounded by TV and Radio stations looking to capture the opening excitement of a long yet joyous day. As the sun finally broke through, more and more Republic FC fans began their pilgrimage to downtown to experience the excitement and bask in the moment of soccer glory for the Indomitable City.
‘Breakfast With The Cup’ was the first of many successes for the Indomitable Club on October 21, even the menu was crafted specifically for those in support of the boys in Old Glory Red.
At Mulvaney’s B&L on 19th Street, Sacramento’s community advocates, city leaders, heads of commerce, SRFC ownership and MLS leadership gathered for the business breakfast before embarking to The Bank to announce and confirm to the world of Sacramento’s future as a MLS city.
Republic FC President & COO Ben Gumpert gave a heartfelt thank you to Ron Burkle for choosing the Indomitable Club’s push to compete in the top domestic soccer league as his next big investment and how Sacramento will never take that for granted.
Matt Alvarez, Ben Gumpert and Don Garber in an early morning conversation before the big announcement.
He also thanked Commissioner Garber for sticking with Sacramento and believing that one day, the Indomitable City will be in Major League Soccer.
Mayor Steinberg also spoke of how the day was a celebratory occasion but tomorrow the city shall return to getting back to focusing on getting the community ready for MLS. He told the group “Today, we celebrate, and we revel in this incredible achievement. And tomorrow we get back to work. We have a stadium to build, an iconic stadium”.
The October sun began to heat up the streets of downtown, but nothing was heating up quite like the palpable energy inside The Bank on J Street – the site of where the official announcement will be made.
With about 30 minutes remaining until the commissioner, The Bank was packed to the brim with fans, staff, media and local officials – all of which wearing Sacramento scarves with MLS proudly stitched on each one. It was a reminder to everyone in attendance that despite the announcement not having been made, the secret was out, Sacramento was headed to Major League Soccer.
But it was at 11:30 a.m. PT when Commissioner Garber took the stage alongside the event’s host Stu Holden, Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Governor Gavin Newsom and the investment team of Ron Burkle, Matt Alvarez and Kevin Nagle all sitting in front of an enormous banner that had three simple letters on full display – M—L — S.
All eyes were on MLS Commisioner Don Garber as he announced to those in attendance at The Bank that Sacramento would be the 29th MLS expansion club.
The announcement itself was an ode to all the hard work and effort the entire city of Sacramento put forth to earn the honor of one day competing in MLS in the very near future. Other cities may have been handed a bid before the Indomitable City, but none more deserving than California’s Capital City. Videos played on the screen of celebrities congratulating Sacramento for becoming the 29th team in the league and another video followed that recapped the rollercoaster journey and emotional moments that made this club what it is today.
Then, it was time for Commissioner Garber to let lead investor Ron Burkle and his team know that all their hard work had paid off. As he draped the Sacramento MLS scarf around Burkle’s neck, confetti rained down from the sky as Sacramento was officially named a Major League Soccer club.
The moment Ron Burkle was draped with the MLS Sacramento scarf - officially naming Sacramento as a MLS city on October 21, 2019.
It’s officially time to cap off the full day of celebrations with fellow ecstatic Republic FC fans at the Indomitable Block Party in the center of the Capitol Mall.
Hours after the bid was announced, the gates of the free public event at the Capitol Mall were open to all of Sacramento to gather and celebrate surrounded by a beer garden, food trucks, live entertainment as well as prizes and giveaways. Over 12,000 in Old Glory Red stood shoulder to shoulder to celebrate their club, their city. It was a statement heard across the League.
As the afternoon rolled into the evening, live tunes were blaring, and special guests took the center stage including San Francisco 49ers player Arik Armstead and artist David Garibaldi, who painted a one-of-a-kind poster of a California brown bear with the word ‘Indomitable’ beaming at the top of his remarkable work.
It was the perfect ending to the perfect day, an Indomitable Block Party with the entire city celebrating Sacramento's MLS bid.
The party was an absolute hit and it was a reminder to everyone who supported Sacramento along the way – even long before the very first match in 2014 – what kind of effort it took to get here. The city earned the right to celebrate that night after the tireless battle it’s fought for MLS to open its doors to the Indomitable City.
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