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Concept designs unveiled for New Sacramento MLS Stadium

Sac Soccer and Entertainment Holdings (SSEH) released the first images of the proposed Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium designed by acclaimed architecture firm HNTB. The images were launched online at BuiltforSacramento.com. Along with a presentation of the Preliminary Term Sheet to Mayor Johnson and City Council earlier this week, the news signals completion of Operation Turnkey.

Kevin Nagle, SSEH Managing Partner, said:

I’m thrilled to unveil a stadium design worthy of our fans and community. When we first hired HNTB, we challenged them to design the best home pitch advantage in MLS in a way that would celebrate both Sacramento and the world’s game. Without a doubt, HNTB has delivered.

Mayor Kevin Johnson, said:

Congratulations to Sacramento Republic FC on the release of new stadium preliminary renderings that offer an exciting glimpse into the future of downtown Sacramento. Today’s news also marks the successful completion of Operation Turnkey, one month ahead of schedule. Time and again, Sacramento has proven that we are a community, a Republic, that delivers and let there be no doubt that Sacramento is ready for Major League Soccer.

The preliminary renderings come after several months of concept design research and development. In formulating ideas for the stadium, the design team drew input from workshops, focus groups with Sacramento Republic FC fans and corporate partners, and an online survey completed by nearly 3,500 members of the public. In addition, SSEH, Legends and HNTB executives toured top MLS stadiums across the country and studied internationally-acclaimed soccer stadiums in Europe and South America.

Scott Capstack, HNTB’s Director of Design, commented:

Sacramento will set the tone for the next generation of MLS stadiums. The design harnesses the passion of Sacramento Republic FC fans and draws inspiration from top European and South American soccer stadiums in ways that few, if any, MLS stadiums have ever done before.

During the design process, SSEH sought to achieve three goals:

  • Create the Best Home Pitch Advantage in MLS – The Stadium will create the most intense and intimidating match experience in MLS – a place Sacramento Republic FC players love to play and other teams dread to visit. Key design features include: the steepest rake in MLS to put fans as close to the action as possible; and a closed bowl and continuous roof structure that wraps around all four sides of the pitch to capture and concentrate fan energy towards the pitch.
  • Celebrate the Best of Sacramento – The Stadium will celebrate Sacramento’s unique aesthetics, neighbourhoods and landmarks. The exterior appearance and building structure is inspired by the bevelled star in the Club’s crest, a symbol celebrating the city’s location as the capital city of California; tree-like structures ‘grow’ at the stadium’s perimeter in a nod to the “City of Trees;” construction materials and proximity to light rail will showcase the site’s roots in the historic Railyards district; and site and landscape design will pay homage to Sacramento’s agricultural heritage.
  • Draw Inspiration From the World’s Game – The design team looked to the best soccer stadiums in the United Kingdom, Germany and South America for inspiration. The Sacramento stadium borrows the concept of neighbourhoods from traditional English Premier League clubs by creating four distinct stands, each with its own identity. The stadium’s East Stands will create an intimidating “wall of noise” reminiscent of the Yellow Wall at the Bundesliga’s Westfalenstadion. Inspired by the passionate “hinchada” supporter groups in South America, a separate section, entrance and club will enable Sacramento Republic FC’s most die-hard fans unique opportunities to showcase their passion. The setup will enable supporter groups, like the Tower Bridge Battalion, to enter the stands together and assemble socially before and after the match.

This news represents another milestone in ‘Operation Turnkey,’ an initiative launched in April 2015 by Sacramento Mayor, Kevin Johnson, SSEH Managing Partner, Kevin Nagle, and Sacramento Republic FC President, Warren Smith to strengthen Sacramento’s bid for an MLS expansion team.

Plans for a new stadium are on track, pending an MLS expansion award to Sacramento, with the facility ready to open as soon as the 2018 MLS season.

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Images courtesy: Sacramento Republic FC/HNTB

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Images courtesy: Sacramento Republic FC/HNTB