San Francisco 49ers brass announced as investors in Sacramento Republic

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Sacramento’s “State of the City” address proved to feature a bit of the theatrical, as mayor Kevin Johnson announced further investment into USL PRO club Sacramento Republic.

The club is making a bid for entry into Major League Soccer, and has now added influential San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York as well as owners of the National Football League club. The Republic has also received vocal support from Sacramento’s NBA team, the Kings.

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At worst, it’s a savvy marketing move by the 49ers brass. At best, it’s something huge for Sacramento’s soccer dreams. This article said York and his partners should Sacramento over San Jose because of the “chance to get in on the ground floor,” which is a bit alarming for the long-standing Quakes.

From The Sacramento Bee:

York said the investment was prompted, in part, by the importance of Sacramento to the 49ers. “We have more 49ers season ticket holders in Sacramento than we do in San Francisco,” he said as he headed to the airport for a flight to Arizona for the Super Bowl.

Citing Republic FC’s lead investors, he said, “You’ve got a great group of people” and said he was confident Sacramento will win its bid for an MLS expansion team.

The 49ers as an organization aren’t investing; it’s York and six partners and family members. The 49ers group and the Kings will have roughly the same minority stake in Republic FC, said Warren Smith, president and founder of the soccer club. Financial details weren’t disclosed.
That’ll be an eyebrow raiser around the country, though big wigs investing in their local team isn’t anything too new. The sport continues to grow at a rapid pace in the United States.