Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Real Salt Lake heading to the Suburbs

It should come as no surprise, but Real Salt Lake will be building their new stadium in Sandy, a town about 10 miles South of downtown Salt Lake.

How ever there is still a lot to be discussed as reported by ESPN:

"Among those details is the financing of the $60 million, 20,000- to 25,000-seat venue. The Major League Soccer team has said that it wanted to split the cost of the stadium between public and private money.

It also is uncertain when the stadium would open.

The team hopes to play at the new stadium in 2007, but may have to wait until 2008. RSL, which is playing its 2005 and 2006 seasons in the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium, has discussed playing at the university for another year.

House Speaker Greg Curtis, R-Sandy, met with Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon late Monday on plans to help pay for the Sandy stadium. The $18 million county leaders and legislators set aside for parking near the Expo Center is considered a key part of the funding."

There, of course, is a political element to this decision. The quick version of it is this. Republicans control the state house and the state house is putting money into this project. The mayor and rep from Sandy are both Republicans while the mayor of Salt Lake is a Democrat. Guess where the state would prefer to put their money? (Please note that I would think the same thing if the Ds & Rs were reversed).

There are other reasons for this pick, but I think the political part is very important. I like stadiums to be in the city the team is named after. I think it gives them more of a tie to the community. Also, I think it could have a bigger impact on the local economy in a downtown then out in the wide-open spaces of the 'burbs.

Still, congratulations to Real Sandy, um, Salt Lake and I look forward to seeing another soccer stadium go up.



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