Why the Railyards Stadium is Important Beyond the Republic
When Sacramento Republic FC plays their inaugural game in Major League Soccer in 2023, they will do so in a brand new, state-of-the-art, 21,000 seat soccer-specific stadium in the downtown Railyards District.
For the Republic, and the city of Sacramento, it will be the culmination of over a decade of work in bringing the highest level of professional soccer in the United States to California's capital city.
But for the soccer culture of the city, it will mean so much more.
As Cameron Salerno's tweet states, earlier this week the NCAA awarded Sacramento the rights to host the Men's College Cup in 2024 and the Women's College Cup in 2025 thanks in part to the Railyards Stadium.
Up until this point, there have been some fairly large soccer events in Sacramento. The Republic hosted the USL title game in 2014 and I hate friendlies but the city has seen the likes of Norwich City, Sunderland, Newcastle, and Rangers come to it for their preseasons.
Those events are all great, but until 2023, a venue won't exist that could truly play host to soccer's biggest events.
The College Cup is just the start and mirrors what happened to the city with the NCAA Tournament going to Golden 1 Center.
However, instead of USL games, there will be MLS games. Friendlies still suck, but Sunderland could be Everton and Rangers could be Benfica. Earthquakes Stadium has hosted four U.S. Women's National Team games and two Men's. Those games could come to Sacramento instead.
The likes of Mexico, Manchester United, and Chelsea will still probably play in football stadiums somewhere else, but the Railyards could see a World Cup qualifier or Gold Cup match.
For years, Sacramento citizens have had to travel to San Jose, Palo Alto, or Los Angeles for these types of games.
Starting in 2023, that will no longer be the case. Sacramento will have arrived as a top tier American soccer city.