The Utah State Fairpark Chairman of the Board, Roger Beattie and Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen announced today they have come to an agreement and formally signed a term sheet for the construction of an $18 million, 8,000 seat stadium at the Utah State Fairpark.
The stadium will be the home of the new Real Monarchs SLC (minor league) soccer team.
Hansen has formed the USL PRO-level Monarchs as an elite lower-division professional squad which bridges the gap between Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer and the club's highly-lauded academy at the Grande Sports complex in Arizona, which has produced a perennial pipeline of NCAA Division I players and young professionals, and has consistently competed for numerous national championships at the U-18 and U-16 levels in recent years.
For the inaugural 2015 Monarchs season, the club will play a 28-game regular-season slate in the 12-team Western Conference, with additional participation in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Previously, Mr. Hansen proposed to form a public/private partnership to construct the stadium. However, in an effort to expedite the stadium’s development, Mr. Hansen has agreed to pay the entire cost of construction now estimated at $23 million. In addition to the construction costs, the term sheet also states the Monarchs will operate and maintain the new stadium.
“The Utah State Fairpark would be the perfect home for the Monarch’s stadium,” said Dell Loy Hansen, the Monarch’s owner. “I’m very excited about investing in the Fairpark’s future and seeing the benefits the new facility will bring to the Fairpark and the Rose Park community. I think it is truly a win-win situation for everyone.”
In addition to the Monarchs’ games, it’s envisioned the stadium will also host many other events and teams, including a concert series, a professional women’s soccer franchise, men’s lacrosse and rugby franchises, community adult soccer games and other activities. The Utah State Fair will have use of the stadium for a three-week period (before, during and after) the annual Fair to hold events, including concerts and other activities.
“After conducting our due diligence and negotiating the agreement’s terms, the Utah State Fairpark Board of Directors is pleased to accept Mr. Hansen’s offer,” said Roger Beattie, chairman of the board. “The new stadium will be a key element in the Fairpark’s success for years to come and will be the first of several major new developments at the Fairpark.”
The term sheet is contingent on the State of Utah extending the Utah State Fairpark Corporation’s lease on the Utah State Fairgrounds for an additional 40 years. The current lease expires in 2017.
“The only major hurdle to constructing the stadium is for the State to extend the lease on the Fairpark,” said Lowell Peterson, vice-chairman of the board and former state senator. “The stadium would be a huge step forward in revitalizing the entire Fairpark. We urge the State to extend the Fairpark Corporation’s lease on the Fairpark, so we can preserve the Fairpark for generations to come.”
In addition to the new stadium, the term sheet also includes additional improvements to the Fairpark, including a new entrance on North Temple, improved parking, signage and landscaping.
“We are anxious to get going on construction of the stadium,” said Rob Zarkos, president of the Monarchs. “The stadium will be the envy of every other USL franchise and an incredible addition to the Fairpark.”