Whither Real Salt Lake? Bad news for fans of R.S.L. this past weekend, as the mayor of Salt Lake and county officials refused to guarantee the money that the town of Sandy Spring was promising to put up for the new stadium facility. The officials fear that they will be left holding the bag -- they apparently think it likely that R.S.L. will fly the coop, or Sandy Spring will come up short financially. As a result, Dave Checketts is floating the idea that he might sell his rights to operate the franchise.
Another possibility, suggested in the New York Times, is that Checketts could take the team elsewhere, with St. Louis being a strong possibility. It's always been strange to me that the league put a team in Kansas City, rather than St. Louis, which has a famously strong tradition in soccer. Perhaps, the Wizards could benefit from having a regional rival.
The irony is that Salt Lake is a growing community that could support a team, notwithstanding the lack of confidence shown last week by local politicians. Checketts' plans were well thought-out: from the stadium, to his years-long strategic plan to bring Freddy Adu to Salt Lake. Salt Lake should share the confidence and vision that Checketts has for the area and the team. Maybe the stadium could yet become 'The House that Adu Built?'
This is my third post of the evening -- be sure to scroll down for my earlier posts on the Nationals, and a longer one on transfer moves in international soccer/football, and D.C. United's most recent addition, Ricky Schramm.