Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sandy Real Salt Lake Stadium deal is dead

Update of the story here.

Sandy will not be home to the new Real Salt Lake soccer complex after the Salt Lake County Council voted 5-4 against allowing some of the county's hotel tax revenue to be used in the project. This came as a surprise as Councilman David Wilde was expected to vote with his fellow Republicans in favor of the plan.

The mayor of Sandy, Tom Dolan, blamed the media for the vote, saying that they have always been against it.

Real Salt Lake has purchased the land for the stadium and has most of the funding lined up, but it wants public money to pay for infrastructure such as roads, power lines and sewer systems for the soccer-only stadium.

The surprise vote caused heated words to be exchanged by many elected representatives. With Councilman Joe Hatch saying of Wilde, "(he) has made a career of making Salt Lake City a bogeyman. This is a continuation of that career."

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber was not happy with the vote saying, "We can't allow that team to stay in that market unless we have some vision for a soccer-specific stadium."

Right after the vote, the mayor of Salt Lake, Rocky Anderson, was talking about how great it would be if the team played at the state Fairpark in downtown Salt Lake.

Could this mark the end of soccer in Salt Lake? If so, where would they move? Wait, isn't there suppose to be a stadium built near Philadelphia? More speculation to come.

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Blogger Eric Salsbery said...

The battle is far from over...
Dave Checketts has just accused his nemesis Larry H. Miller of subverting the stadium plan.

Larry Miller is Dave Checketts' former boss. Checketts worked for Miller as the GM of the Utah Jazz but left the Jazz on very sour terms.

Miller, the owner of the NBA's Utah Jazz and the Salt Lake Bees, AAA baseball farm team of the Anahiem Angels, is a very prominent local businessman. He and Checketts have been at odds ever since the split.

Now it appears the initial success of Checketts' soccer team threatened Miller's monopoly on the local sports scene. Miller alledgedly took steps to protect that monopoly.

It still remains to be seen what has actually transpired but rumors of strategic campaign contributions and strong arm political pressure by Miller are surfacing.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Mike H said...


thanks for the on the ground update.

I hope it works out because it seems like Salt Lake is a great place for soccer to grow.

mike h

10:50 PM  

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