The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Photo credit: Nick Shockey / nshockey.express@gmail.com
A letter from the editor
February 6, 2024

Sacramento Republic FC comes to City College

Fans cheer in support of the Sacramento Republic FC in the season opener at Hughes Stadium Dianne Rose | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

A sold-out crowd of more than 20,000 fans took to Charles C. Hughes Stadium to watch Sacramento’s first professional outdoor soccer team take the field in their first home game.

Despite the losing score (2–1) displayed on the scoreboard at the end of the 90-minute match, the Sacramento Republic Football Club’s inaugural first home game was a sure success and did more for City College than any one major sporting event has done in years, according to campus officials.

Republic FC was founded in 2012 and became an expansion team for the United Soccer Leagues Professional Division (USLPro), a division three American soccer league. The team made its debut in 2014 against the LA Galaxy II team at the StubHub center in Carson, Calif.

With Bonney Field—the team’s permanent home—currently under construction at Cal Expo, the Republic will play their first three home games at City College’s Hughes Stadium.

With a sell-out crowd April 26, and over 17,000 people at May 3 win (2-1), team executives are hoping to have an average of close to 17,000 fans over the three game-span at Hughes Stadium.

City College Athletic Director Mitch Campbell and Vice President of Administrative Affairs Bob Martinelli brokered a deal with Republic owner Warren Smith that allows for the team to play at Hughes Stadium in return for City College receiving 50 percent of the parking revenue.

“Football, wrestling and soccer teams worked the event,” said Campbell. “So part of the revenue goes back to them directly, and then part of it goes back into the department budget.”

Despite the size of the crowd, the parking went smoothly, according to Campbell. In addition to City College parking, the team was able to open up Petrovich lot—the empty field adjacent to the City College light rail station—to expand the parking for the event.
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With roughly 5,000 parking spaces on campus and additional spaces in Petrovich lot, the revenue generated by three expected sell out games at $10 per car, is expected to give a substantial boost to the athletic department and the teams that work the events. Proceeds from the first game are expected to be substantial, according to school officials.

The benefits, however, reach far beyond profit for the college. The first game held a record-setting number of spectators for a USLPro league regular season game and was just 600 people short of the league’s all-time attendance record set in Orlando City for the 2013 USLPro Championship match, according to the USLPro website.

“To see our stadium packed like that was great,” said Campbell. “And it really, really showed itself well.”

For City College soccer coach Jang-Ha Oh, the match was a way to showcase not only the stadium, but the school as well. According to Oh, the match and resulting media coverage have brought much needed visibility to Sacramento City College and its soccer facilities—something he says is often a major recruiting hurdle for prospective City College soccer players.

“Because of the game, because of media coverage and those other kinds of things, people now know Sacramento City College,” said Oh. “They saw the stadium. They saw the field.”

With high school girls’ soccer currently in season and City College soccer beginning in the fall, the game was a great way for local soccer players to see what Sacramento City College has to offer, according to Oh.

Sacramento Republic FC will play one more match at Hughes Stadium May 17, and before moving to Bonney Field. However, if construction of Bonney Field is not finished in time, there is a possibility of extending the team’s stay at Hughes Stadium.

“It’s just a great event for us,” said Oh. “Not only for the soccer team, but for the school, too.”

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