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Real Salt Lake close to stadium deal for Monarchs

Real Salt Lake have agreed terms with the Utah State Fairpark for the construction of a new stadium, to be used by the Major League Soccer (MLS) club’s United Soccer Leagues (USL) team, the Real Monarchs SLC.

The 8,000-capacity venue is expected to cost around US$18m and will be the home ground of the Real Monarchs SLC – the ninth new franchise announced for the 2015 USL PRO – who are scheduled to make their debut in USL Pro – a league below MLS and the North American Soccer League (NASL) – this year.

The Monarchs will play their home games at Real Salt Lake’s new Rio Tinto stadium (pictured above) while their own venue is being built.

Utah State Fairpark has agreed to be the site for the Monarch’s new stadium, but final approval rests on state approval on an extension to its lease. The lease, held by Utah State Fairpark Corporation, is set to expire in two years time, but an application for a 40-year extension has been made.

The new multi-use stadium – a key element of the downtown Salt Lake City redevelopment plan – will be funded by Real Salt Lake.

Monarchs President, Rob Zarkos, said:

We are anxious to get going on construction of the stadium. It will be the envy of every other USL franchise and an incredible addition to the Fairpark.

Monarchs is the third new MLS-owned team to be announced for 2015 – joining the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders FC – with the LA Galaxy II preparing for their second USL PRO season.

Monarchs owner, Dell Loy Hansen, said:

We are committed to providing another asset to our great State of Utah and the Intermountain region, one which will provide career, sporting and entertainment value to all those who wish to work, play and live here. The collective presence of the Monarchs and USL PRO on the Utah sports scene deepens our sport’s roots in the community, strengthen the infrastructure supporting our elite MLS team, and marks the latest of many initiatives for soccer in Utah.

Further information on the project will be available at: www.RealMonarchs.com along with additional Monarchs announcements as the club prepares for its first season in USL PRO.

USL PRO featured 14 teams in 2014 with new franchises already announced for 2015 in Austin, Charlotte, Colorado Springs, Louisville, Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, and Tulsa.

Images of Rio Tinto Stadium, courtesy: Rossetti