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There’s one MLS expansion slot left, and it’ll soon be awarded to Cincinnati, Sacramento, or Detroit. Sacramento once looked like a lock to get an expansion spot, but it’s now rather uncertain, likely because Sacramento’s ownership group isn’t as flamboyantly wealthy as their competitors.

The Sacramento Bee ran an op-ed yesterday about the city’s chance to snag the last spot. From the general byline and headline (“Sacramento City Council must hold the line on public money for MLS stadium”), the article might seem to be an argument for holding the line on public money for an MLS stadium. However, here are three paragraphs:

One big draw about the proposed Sacramento soccer stadium is that it doesn’t call for a large, direct taxpayer subsidy.

That is a line that shouldn’t be crossed as city officials and Republic FC owners try to beef up their bid for a Major League Soccer franchise.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg is on the money: It could make sense for City Hall to reduce or defer some building fees, to donate land for a training facility, to give the team the revenue from new digital billboards, or to help with roads, sewers and other infrastructure near the stadium.

A note for the Bee, which did not take anything close to this stand on Kevin Johnson’s Kings stadium project: There is no material difference between direct public subsidies and the provisions Steinberg mentioned. A big burlap sack with dollar signs on it is a lot more ostentatious and likely to draw public ire than land giveaways and other breaks, but they both amount to giving more money to rich dicks.