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City Will Look for Land Where Pro Soccer Stadium Could be Built

The Elk Grove City Council voted unanimously to explore the idea building a place for a Major League Soccer or North American Soccer League team to play.

Clarification: A previous version of this article said a Tweet from Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis was referencing the soccer stadium discussion; that is not the case, Davis said.

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Elk Grove is on its way to building a professional soccer stadium, although many hurdles still need to be cleared.

According to various media reports, the Elk Grove City Council on Wednesday voted to continue looking into the process of building a stadium–which could cost up to $100 million and be funded entirely by the city–and finding a team to fill it.

The city will now look for 120 acres of land on which an arena could be built, and take the community's pulse on the topic.

The city currently has a contract with investment and negotiating group Northern California Soccer, led by Former State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez.

Youth soccer players showed up in force at Wednesday's city council meeting to voice their support for an arena, but the city's plan faces critics concerned about the massive price tag.

"I guarantee, if you are 25 percent off, we're going bankrupt–and that's nuts," resident Tom Waltman told the council, according to News10.

Vice Mayor Steve Detrick said he wouldn't support an arena plan if it couldn't be made cost-neutral to the city.

"All debt would have to have a conservative revenue stream so that there is no ongoing expense to the city," Detrick said in an email to Patch.

The morning after the meeting, Mayor Gary Davis tweeted a quote from Oscar Wilde: "A cynic is a man(person) who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing."

UPDATE: In an email to Patch, Davis said his quote was not meant to be connected to the soccer stadium discussion.

"It is a statement referring to how many view government and government officials," Davis said.

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What do you think of this proposed soccer arena? Should the city move forward with this idea? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Barb March 14, 2013 at 06:44 PM
How about where the mall was planned?
Marty March 14, 2013 at 07:38 PM
In answer to Mr. Davis' tweet to the community he represents as Mayor.......And a sentimentalist, my dear Mr. Davis, is a man who sees an absurd value in everything, and doesn't know the market place of any single thing.” ―Lady Windermere's Fan
M.Legison March 14, 2013 at 07:48 PM
Thinking big is good. Elk Grove needs a better identity than we have now. Hiring a consultant to somehow repeat your desires as a "finding," IF that is the case, is disingenuous. The city has a terrible history of doing exactly that, however. I'm skeptical, as we should all be, but let's listen and ask for objective verification before we bloviate for the sake of being heard.
Connie Conley March 14, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I am in full support of the soccer complex. We need one for the youth of our city, and all the tournaments it would bring; not to mention money put into the local economy in a matter of year or so. And our young citizens' heartfelt testimony did tug. But the soccer stadium is something that should be looked at very closely. With EGUSD and CCSD facing deficit budgets, and can’t get tax measures passed, what makes the Elk Grove City Council think the voters will go for a $100 million dollar general bond measure? Answer: They won’t. So what will they do? Revenue bonds. No vote by the people needed, high interest rate, and if they fail, we residents get stuck repaying that enormous debt for the next 30 years! There is a huge difference in being a cynic and facing reality with one's taxpayer's eyes wide open. We must continue to have a city that builds its reserves. Why can't we start small, decrease the risk, and see where that takes us? Not getting or understanding the rationale at all here.
M.Legison March 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM
A revenue bond is tied to a specific income producing entity and is not subject to general obligation repayment. I have a little sympathy for "the kids" in Elk Grove than some. Many of them simply need a belt to keep their pants up and a part time job to keep them busy. Our boys are still in their 20s and always found things to do, and we live in the country. It's not the obligation of the city to provide entertainment. It's the responsibility of the parent(s) to coach them in a manner where they develop interests of lasting value. It is however the responsibility of the city to be forward looking and vision an environment that's attractive for residents, local businesses, and employers. Ask Roseville and Folsom about that. Clearly, there has to be a realistic repayment plan for debts incurred.
Tom Waltman March 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Having reviewed the city staff's projections, and having had a pretty close view of the Kings stadium issues, I can tell you it doesn't take a lot of cynicism to come ot the belief that losing $4,000,000 to $5,000,000 each YEAR on a $100,000,000 stadium isn't a good bet. The prospective owners obviously know the value of this proposition, as they are putting, wait for it... $0 into the stadium. When they come to the table with some money, then I will believe that we aren't being used as suckers for a pipe dream. And this stadium deal with any MLS owners better have some revenue sharing deal in case the numbers don't pan out. Leaving Elk Grove taxpayers on the hook is more than cynical. In case anyone cares, I do support the idea of the soccer complex, as described at the City Council meeting as revenue neutral. I hope Mayor Johnson in Sacramento listened very carefully to my question to the Council regarding Elk Grove's support for a regional effort to keep the Kings. More than one Councilperson shook their heads "no." to that idea. I guess we have our own priorities here. The Civic Center project? Nope.
Tom Waltman March 15, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Finally, did anyone catch that, even though the City Council only voted Wednesday evening to have staff ID land for a potential soccer stadium, staff came forward with a plan for the Southeast Planning Area that already had the site for the soccer stadium identified? Wonder how that happened... Folks who were present at the meeting for that plan said nothing was ever mentioned about a soccer stadium. Dang, kind of feels like old times here in Elk Grove when the deals were all made and presented as fiat accompli to the folks at the City Council meetings. Things that make you go Hmmmmm...
Larry Pollard March 15, 2013 at 11:44 PM
Here's an idea! Let's get crime under control in this city before we do anything else! The concession stand at the stadium would probably be robbed the first weekend that it opened!!!

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