Could the city of Salt Lake save Real?
"In my view, it makes great sense," City Council Chairman Van Turner said. "We think soccer's a good thing for Utah. We think it's a better thing for Salt Lake City."
The Fairpark area was on the short list of locations back when Real owner David Checketts was looking at locations, but lost out to Sandy due, at least in part, to political considerations. Here was my take at the time.
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?
By the way, the rep from Sandy also happened to be Speaker of the House Greg Curtis. Curtis was a huge supporter of the project, however he almost lost his job in November when he won by just 20 votes. His backing of the stadium project was a major issue used against him during the campaign.
So as political winds turned, so did Real's fortunes.
But getting back to the issue at hand, can Salt Lake City convince the team to stay put and build their stadium at Fairpark?
"In June 2006, Anderson promoted the Fairpark idea by suggesting a number of incentives, including a share of the city's property taxes, some of the city's portion of hotel taxes from Salt Lake County and a ready fan base within walking distance of the site."
No proposals have been officially offered up as of this time, but this will probably be the starting ground for such discussions.
Will it be enough to keep the team or has Checketts already decided? We should know in a few days to a couple weeks.