Friday, April 06, 2007

Real start building their stadium, but there might be trouble Monday

At long last, Real Salt Lake has begun work on their new stadium.

After more than a year of back-and-forth negotiations for public financing, RSL's contractor, Layton Turner Construction, began preliminary work Wednesday on the site, currently home to a fallow field, abandoned houses and an empty RV showroom.

That's the good news, but this being Real Salt Lake, there is still a chance the project could run into trouble. Angered by the use of public money in the building of the stadium, some local organizers are trying to gain enough signatures to force the funding measure onto the ballot. To make this happen, they will need to turn in 92,000 signatures from registered voters by Monday.

If they reach their goal then the state will delay the $35 million payment scheduled for April 30. The governor will then decide when to place the measure on the ballot.

Interestingly enough, Real just launched an ad campaign highlighting what they see as the benefits of public funding, but they deny it has anything to do with the petition effort. Their main angle is the tax money the new site will generate for the local community.

Things have to be a little tense around Real headquarters. It would be interesting to see if owner Dave Checketts has St. Louis's Jeff Cooper's number standing by.

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Blogger Allen said...

Can they really pull off getting that many signatures by Monday? I know some folks have been working at it for awhile but that still seems like a lot of signatures. Especially assuming they have to be sigs of registered voters. How many registered voters are there in Utah? 1.2 million? 1.5 million? 1.8m? So 3-10% of them to sign this petition?

11:07 AM  
Blogger Mike H said...

Hello Allen,

There are about 1.15 million registered voters in Utah, so they will need to get about 8%. Also, they need to get signatures from 19 out of the state’s 29 counties.

It will be difficult, but polls have shown people are not happy with this measure.

It will all come down to how organized they are. I think there are enough people out there, but if it is not organized, those people will never know.

I think it is a long shot, but it could be done.

12:43 PM  

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