Sacramento Republic Football Club announced Thursday that Kevin Nagle will lead its prospective Major League Soccer (MLS) ownership group.
Nagle, a local business leader and co-founder of Envision RX pharmaceutical benefits group, will "immediately integrate into Republic FC's business strategy and efforts to procure MLS for Sacramento," according to a report on the team's website.
"I love Sacramento – its community, resilience and potential," Nagle said in the report. "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. I am honored to work side-by-side with Mayor Kevin Johnson and Republic FC President Warren Smith to procure MLS for Sacramento and demonstrate why this region is built for MLS."
Nagle represented the Republic and the Sacramento Kings during Mayor Kevin Johnson's meeting with MLS Deputy Commissioner Mark Abbot during the league all-star game in Portland Aug. 6. He is the largest local shareholder and executive voting member of the Kings, and served a leadership role in keeping the team in Sacramento in 2013, according to the release.
"Kevin's leadership and investment in Republic FC positions us as one of the top ownership groups in the sport," Republic FC President Warren Smith said. "His success, credibility and financial wherewithal provide us the capability to succeed with our MLS bid. But what first endeared me to Kevin and what I love most is his passion for Sacramento."
The announcement also comes as a surprise since it appeared the Sacramento Kings ownership group was making a play to own the team.
"It does strengthen the case," Smith said. "I don't think it's absolutely necessary, but we're going to do all we can to bring them on board. We think it's a great partnership."
Neither Smith nor Nagle explained why the Kings ownership wasn't ready now.
"All lines of communication are still very much open," Nagle added. "The door is not closed on anything as of yet."
Nagle has immediately started working on a business strategy and plans for a privately funded stadium. He said early renderings have been made, but they're not ready for release yet. The railyards in Sacramento are still being named as a possible location for the stadium.
League executives will visit Sacramento on Sept. 18 and 19 to assess the city's potential as an MLS landing spot. If the team is granted an MLS berth, Nagle will be the team's single largest owner.