SBD/Issue 236/Franchises

RSL Strikes Ten-Year Deal To Bring Real Madrid Back To Utah

Real Salt Lake (RSL) Owner Dave Checketts confirmed that the team has reached a ten-year partnership with Real Madrid that “includes Real Madrid coming to Utah every other year,” according to James Edward of the DESERET NEWS. Real Madrid will return in July ’08 for a match at RSL’s new stadium in Sandy. Real Madrid has also pledged to “help fund 50[%] of an elite soccer academy in Salt Lake City.” Checketts estimated that the academy will cost around $25M. Edward reported Real Madrid also agreed to let RSL train at its $150M practice facility each February as part of the team’s two-month training camp. Checketts: “The partnership has a lot of other aspects that are still being negotiated” (DESERET NEWS, 9/2).

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE: Checketts wrote a SALT LAKE TRIBUNE Op/Ed under the header, “Stadium Is An Investment In The Future Of Our Community.” Checketts wrote the negative reactions from stadium opponents “are all just part of the process.” Checketts: “The construction of new stadiums has a way of stirring passion –- it’s an expected, healthy part of the public discourse. ... I firmly believe that a decade from now the public investment of $35[M] to make this stadium project possible will be regarded as a wise investment in the continued growth of our community. ... The truth is our organization is stepping up well beyond what we’ve seen in other [MLS] cities” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 9/2).

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