Monday, July 17, 2006

Could Real Salt Lake move to Rochester or St. Louis?

With the Salt Lake County Council voting against a tax proposal to pay for the infrastructure needed to build a soccer stadium for Real Salt Lake, talk has turned to the possibility of the team moving away.

St. Louis and Rochester, New York, are the cities gaining the talk of possible sites. Just today Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber was in St. Louis to meet with a group seeking to bring an expansion team to the area. The biggest problem facing that group is the lack of a stadium deal.

Rochester does not have the problem of figuring out a stadium deal as the Rochester Raging Rhinos recently opened up the 17,000-seat PAETEC Park. One of the reasons they built the park was to attack the attention of Major League Soccer. Still, some have pointed out that Rochester might not be able to support a major league team (even if says differently).

All this talk might be for nothing as officials of Salt Lake City and county have increased their efforts to keep the team. Their new plan calls for $7 million less in tax revenue going to the stadium (dropping the total of public funding to $24 million). Owner Dave Checketts has set a loose deadline of August 12th to finalize a deal.

In the meantime, Rochester and St. Louis can keep selling the idea of bringing teams to their cities, just incase some folks in Utah again vote no.

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