Deal reached for new $18M stadium for Real Monarchs at Utah State Fairpark

Posted at 12:40 PM, Jan 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-26 14:49:37-05

SALT LAKE CITY – Officials just announced an agreement on an $18 million plan for an 8,000-seat stadium at the Utah State Fairpark; it will be the home of the new Real Monarchs SLC, the minor league soccer team.

The Utah State Fairpark Chairman of the Board, Roger Beattie and Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen announced the news Monday.

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 academy at the Grande Sports complex in Arizona.

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 Hansen suggested a public/private partnership to construct the stadium.

However, in an effort to expedite the stadium’s development, Hansen has agreed to pay the entire cost of construction now estimated at $18 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,” Hansen said. “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.”

Officials said the stadium will host the Monarchs games as well as other events including concerts, a professional women’s soccer franchise, a men’s lacrosse and rugby franchises, community adult soccer games and other activities.

According to officials, 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,” Lowell Peterson said, 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.

RSL owner promotes plan to build stadium, save the fair park