SANDY, Utah — With the sale of the Real Salt Lake franchise, current owner Dell Loy Hansen has pledged he will try to keep the teams intact and in Utah, but that is no guarantee.
As more out-of-state potential buyers come up, the more locals realize just how much of an impact RSL has on the Salt Lake area and how much of an impact it would have if it left.
“A major league sports franchise is always so ingrained in a community,” said Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. “You have the Real Monarchs, the Royals and Real Salt Lake, so it's a franchise.”
Gochnour said Real Salt Lake has a payroll of over $16 million.
It employs more than 200 people, and on game days there are more than 400 people serving the fans, the team, and the broadcasting side.
While there have been individuals who are interested, it will most likely be an ownership group that comes together to buy the team.
According to Gochnour, that's because they would need financial backing as well as the knowledge and understanding of a sports team to make it work.
In 2019, Forbes Magazine put out a report listing every single Major League Soccer team, which priced Real Salt Lake at $235 million.
To see more of why the team is so important to the community, watch the video above.