Major League Soccer

Burkle backs out owning Sacramento team

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Soccer says Ron Burkle has backed out of plans for an expansion team in Sacramento, California, that was scheduled to start play in 2023.

The league said in a statement Friday night that Burkle's decision was "based on issues with the project related to COVID-19."

MLS announced the Sacramento Republic as its 29th team on Oct. 21, 2019, and said then the team would start play in 2022. MLS said July 17 that Sacramento would not start play until the 2023 season because of the pandemic. At the time, the league delayed Charlotte, North Carolina, until 2022 and St. Louis until 2023.

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