The Sacramento Kings have ambitious new owners. We all knew that already, but we didn't realise just how far they want to expand their newly brought empire.
Reports coming out of Sacramento state that the Kings are seriously discussing buying USL Pro soccer side Sacramento Republic FC with the thought of turning them into a Major League Soccer side sooner rather than later.
"This week, Kings President Chris Granger will travel to Portland to meet with MLS officials along with current Republic owner Warren Smith. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson is also expected to attend the meeting, scheduled for Wednesday.
A source close to Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive said he sees soccer as a 'tremendous opportunity for a larger vision of growth in Sacramento.' Soccer also fits with Ranadive’s interest of investing in sports that can create excitement not only locally but also internationally."
Ranadive has big plans for the city of Sacramento and the 56-year old looks like he is in the business of making the Capital of California one of the capitals of sports in the United States and across the globe.
The Republic are the biggest team in USL Pro by quite some margin. Impressive when you consider that this is literally their first season of professional soccer.
Republic FC are drawing in the biggest crowds in the division, and breaking records while they do it. Following their sellout crowd against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last weekend, Republic FC’s 118,107 combined attendance across the whole season smashed the previous record of 112,748, a mark set by Orlando City SC last season - a team that are set to join the MLS at the start of 2015.
The precedent already exists for teams from other sports to buy soccer franchises. The New York Yankees (MLB) and Atlanta Falcons (NFL) own teams in their cities that are set to join MLS in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
Everything is their for the Sacramento Republic FC to succeed, and the Kings millions could really make them one of the hottest new teams in North America.