Real Salt Laker Owner Hansen Profiled, Discusses Taking Over From Checketts
MLS Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen and his “his ascension to being RSL’s sole owner" was profiled by Aaron Falk of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE. Hansen said that he “saw a team in need of saving” and “believed he had the ability to do something.” Hansen “knew little of the sport when he first bought in, but his passion and business savvy were undeniable.” He said that he immediately “dove into sponsorships and ticket sales.” When Hansen arrived, the team was “bringing in $2.8 million in sponsorships a year.” He said that this season, the club “will bring in $8.5 million.” That number “will cross" the $10M mark "next year with a new jersey-front sponsorship deal.” But for Hansen, the team is “unlike any other investment he’s made.” Hansen said, "One thing that’s black and white: I will never make money running this.” He said that the club’s profits “will go back to the team in hopes of making RSL perennially one of Major League Soccer’s top four clubs.” Hansen “acknowledges he has frustrated” President Bill Manning and team staff “as he reworks the club’s finances, cutting in some places and breaking off media and other components into separate entities.” Former Owner Dave Checketts said that MLS Commissioner Don Garber in December "presided over a sealed auction” for the team. Checketts added that he “won the bid and on Dec. 11 deposited the $33 million needed to buy his partner out.” At that point, he had “until Jan. 15 to close on the deal.” Checketts said, "I had a lot of sleepless nights in early 2013 thinking about what I wanted. Do I want to continue? Can I continue? I woke up and told my wife we were going to sell." Checketts said that he is “satisfied that he left a franchise that was on solid ground and capable of continued on-field success.” Hansen “agrees, and he thinks he can help take RSL to another level” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 3/17).