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Sacramento Kings owner joins city's MLS expansion bid

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Kevin Nagle gives Sacramento Republic some real financial muscle.

Courtesy of LA Galaxy

Sacramento's bid to become the 24th Major League Soccer franchise received a massive shot in the arm on Thursday when it was announced that Kings owner Kevin Nagle will now lead the efforts. No terms of the agreement were announced, but Nagle will be the majority owner of Sacramento Republic FC if their expansion bid is successful.

"I love Sacramento - its community, resilience and potential," Nagle said in the team release. "Early on, I admired Republic FC's success and efforts to galvanize this region; its bid for MLS is not only about sports, but also a shared vision for Sacramento."

It was about a 20 months ago that Republic FC was launched with what seemed to an extreme longshot goal of eventually joining MLS. But after drawing more than 20,000 fans to their first three USL Pro matches and selling out all their subsequent matches at their 8,000-seat facility, it became obvious that there was some muscle behind those aspirations.

Over the MLS All-Star break, Nagle was point man in conversations with the league. League officials are now scheduled to visit Sacramento later this month to inspect possible stadium locations and assess the market's viability. The Republic have declared their interest to build a privately-financed stadium in downtown Sacramento. With Nagle now officially on board, getting funding for the stadium squared away would appear to be the last major hurdle the team would need to clear in order to get franchise rights.

Of course, Sacramento does face some competition. Las VegasMinnesota and San Antonio are just three of the city's that have expressed seemingly serious interest in landing a MLS team.