Real Salt Lake pitches privately funded minor-league stadium on public fairgrounds land

The owners of Real Salt Lake are looking to build an 8,000-seat minor-league soccer stadium at the Utah State Fairpark, and say they will foot the entire $13 million bill themselves. Or, put another way, the owners of Real Salt Lake want a chunk of state land on which to build a minor-league soccer stadium, and for the state to foot the rest of the $80 million bill for renovating the Fairpark. Without more details about the proposed stadium lease and the rest of the Fairpark redo plans, we can’t really know for sure.

Either way, it’s interesting that RSL is looking to locate a minor-league USL affiliate in its home town, which unless I’m mistaken would be the first time an MLS team has attempted this. (There are several examples in baseball, including the successful Brooklyn Cyclones and the somewhat less successful Staten Island Yankees.) It seems tough to imagine that a USL team could be profitable enough to make a $13 million stadium pay off, but maybe when you add in the benefits of having your own developmental team within commuting distance? Either way, it’s a proposal that bears watching.