Utah Fairpark may finally get a soccer stadium

Rendering of the proposed Monarch's stadium at the Utah State Fairpark.
Rendering of the proposed Monarch’s stadium at the Utah State Fairpark.

Eight years after losing out to Sandy in a bid to house the Real Salt Lake stadium, the Utah State Fairpark may finally get a soccer stadium.  On Monday, the Utah State Fairpark Chairman of the Board, Roger Beattie and Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen formally signed a term sheet for the construction of a $18 million, 8,000 seat stadium at the Utah State Fairpark which will be the home of the new Real Monarchs SLC, a minor league soccer team.

Unlike the Rio Tinto stadium, the home of  Salt Lake’s major league team (Real Salt Lake), the stadium at the Fairpark will be privately funded.  The Rio Tinto stadium received millions in tax subsidies when built in 2008.   Hansen, the team’s owner will pay for the entire cost of construction.  The Monarchs will also operate and maintain the new stadium.

In addition to the Monarchs’ games,  the stadium will potentially host concerts, a professional women’s soccer franchise, a men’s lacrosse and rugby franchises and community adult soccer games. The Utah State Fair will have use of the stadium for a three-week period every year (before, during and after) the annual Fair to hold events, including concerts and other activities.

The deal was finalized the same day as the start of the 2015 Utah legislative session.  To build the stadium, the state of Utah will need to extend the Fairpark’s lease which currently expires in 2017.  Construction of the stadium will also include an improved North Temple entrance, new signage, improved parking and enhanced landscaping.

The stadium could be the catalytic project needed to bring more development to North Temple.  A stadium would bring people into the area year around as opposed to the once-a-year state fair held every September.

“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,” said Lowell Peterson, Vice-Chairman of the Utah State Fairpark Board and former state senator in a press-release.


Posted by Isaac Riddle

Isaac Riddle grew up just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Utah and a Masters of Journalism from Temple University. Isaac has written for Next City, The Philadelphia Public School Notebook and Salt Lake City Weekly. Before embarking on a career in journalism, Isaac taught High School English in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Isaac is the founder of Building Salt Lake and can be reached at isaac@buildingsaltlake.com.