RSL announces increase in fan capacity for home games

Capacity will go up by double, but fans will still need to adhere to some protocols.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) The stadium is empty minutes before the match was supposed to start as the game between Real Salt Lake and LAFC was postponed after teams in sports leagues across the country boycotted scheduled games to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake, RSL and LAFC followed suit, along with the rest of MLS, on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.

More Real Salt Lake fans will be able to attend games at Rio Tinto Stadium to start the 2021 Major League Soccer season.

Interim President John Kimball announced on ESPN700 that the RioT will allow 10,000 spectators into RSL home games.

“We’re excited to follow all the protocols and ensure that we have a safe event,” Kimball said. “Just really, really excited to be opening to basically half-capacity at the RioT.”

Rio Tinto holds just upwards of 20,000 people when it’s full. Last year, as sporting events all over the country grappled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, whether fans were allowed inside stadiums depended on local health departments. RSL allowed 5,000 fans for much of the latter half of last season.

Kimball said fans will still need to adhere to a mask mandate while seated, per MLS rules. He added that there will be areas in the stadium where fans can eat and drink safely, but still socially distance.

The news comes on the same day as the Utah Department of Health announced that more than 1 million Utahns have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.