SANDY, Utah — Utah Soccer LLC announced the transfer of ownership of the Utah Royals FC to a group in Kansas City, Kansas Monday.
However, the deal carries an option for the team to return as an expansion franchise to Rio Tinto Stadium in a couple of years.
According to a news release Monday, Utah Royals FC has entered into a mutually beneficial transaction with the National Women’s Soccer League that would permit the team to play in Kansas City for the upcoming 2021 season. This transaction provides clarity on where "our remarkable and talented women" will play soccer next year, the release said, while enabling new ownership to re-establish the Utah Royals FC name and franchise at Rio Tinto Stadium two years from now, in 2023.
Ownership thanked Royals fans for their support and passion over the years and pledged unwavering support for bringing Utah Royals FC back to Rio Tinto Stadium as soon as possible.
“We love the Utah soccer community and have been honored to work with these world-renowned professional women athletes,” said owners Dell Loy and Julie Hansen. “We will truly miss our athletes who have become our friends. We lend our full support to new owners who can continue our vision to have the women’s team equal to the men’s team in time, facilities, and resources and who can help shepherd the team into a new era of growth and success.”
Vice President of Soccer Operations Rob Zarkos commented “I would like to thank the players who gave their all to this community, the staff who worked to make it happen and the fans who supported us every step of the way. You are Utah Royals FC.”
Utah Royals FC commenced play in 2018 when the former FC Kansas City folded and Utah Soccer LLC purchased the rights to the team, moving it to Sandy, Utah. In just three years Utah Royals FC established a robust following in both the state of Utah and the soccer community at large around the world.