Saturday, January 27, 2007

Real stadium decision comes down to one person

Real Salt Lake's hope for a new home has had many twists over the last year and half, but now it looks like the final decision will come down to Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon (pictured).

At issue is $30 million in public money the club wants to help in the development of the site. Before signing off on this money, the county insisted on seeing deep into Real's books and business plan. A committee doing so gave a stinging review yesterday when they said that they do not think the team will survive.

Owner Dave Checketts said in a written statement, "...the committee has undervalued our experience in building and running professional franchises and entertainment venues." He added, “Further, they have overvalued a pessimistic view that Salt Lake County really doesn’t have the people and the market to make this sort of ‘major league’ project a reality.”

The committee voted 4-0 against the plan. Their recommendation now goes to Mayor Corroon who will make the final decision on the money.

Concerning his decision, Corroon would only say, "If I’m persuaded that it’s not a doable enterprise, I will not approve it. If it looks like it can work, I will approve it.”

With just about everyone else, including a few previous supports of the plan, now against the plan, it is hard to believe that Corroon will approve it. If he decides against it, Checketts will then need to make a huge choice, move the team or fight again.

No MLS team will make a profit without a stadium of their own. If Checketts cannot find a way to build one around Salt Lake, the companies bottom line will all but force him to move them.

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