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SLC Council backs Fairpark for soccer site

Published June 8, 2005 1:23 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake City officials want the Major League Soccer stadium at the Utah State Fairpark. Now they just need to convince the soccer team.

On Tuesday night, the Salt Lake City Council unanimously approved a resolution with Mayor Rocky Anderson to "enthusiastically support" placing a stadium for Real Salt Lake at the Fairpark. The resolution notes the fairgrounds will eventually be accessible to commuter rail and light rail, is relatively close to tourists visiting downtown and the Salt Palace and wouldn't require taxpayers to purchase land because the state already owns the property.

And while the Fairpark is 10 blocks west of downtown, the resolution notes that studies show stadiums do better downtown than in the suburbs.

Real officials have not endorsed the Fairpark, or the other sites in Sandy (near the South Towne Expo Center) or Murray (near the TRAX stop). In fact, it is searching for land in Sandy and downtown on its own.

The team is playing at the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium this season and next, but wants to build a 25,000-seat stadium that would cost up to $65 million. The team would pay half the construction costs.

- Heather May