Businessman Ron Burkle is facing a second lawsuit over his decision to pull out of a bid to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to Sacramento, California.

Burkle had initially backed a project for Sacramento Republic FC, the city’s minor-league club, to secure an expansion slot in the MLS.

While the bid was successful, Burkle pulled out of his planned acquisition of the team in March, casting doubt over the future of the project.

This decision drew criticism and legal action from other parties involved in the project, with Icon Venue Group having launched a suit against Burkle and his business partner Matt Alvarez for $2.3m (£1.7m/€2m) in June.

According to Icon Venue, it has not been paid for preparatory work carried out on the venue.

Now, M.A. Mortenson Co., a Minnesota-based construction company that was lined up to build the stadium, has also initiated legal action, demanding nearly $1.4m in unpaid bills, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Filed in US District Court in Sacramento, the lawsuit said the company opened talks on the stadium in 2018 and that while a formal construction contract was never signed, Burkle’s investment company, Yucaipa Cos., was aware Mortenson was working on the project. 

“Throughout the summer and fall of 2020, Yucaipa would consistently represent that the project would commence in a ‘few weeks,’ and that the parties should just focus on finalising the Construction Agreement, with payments following thereafter,” the lawsuit said.

Burkle’s spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Image: Sacramento Republic