Fans Attend First Pro Team Event Since March 11 As Real Monarchs Fall In Opening Match Of 2020
SANDY, Utah – Fans attended a professional team sporting event for the first time since March 11 and watched the Real Monarchs drop their season-opening match to the San Diego Loyal SC.
The Monarchs played Loyal SC at the home of MLS club, Real Salt Lake, on Saturday, July 11.
It was the team’s first match since winning the USL Championship last season. It was also the first pro team event played in the United States with fans in attendance in exactly four months.
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Prior to the match, the last professional team sporting event to take place with fans in attendance was an NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, March 11.
In March, the coronavirus pandemic caused the sporting world to come to a halt.
In early July, Rio Tinto Stadium and the Monarchs received authorization from the state of Utah, local health authorities, and the USL.
The full capacity for the match was limited to 5,300 fans. The official attendance was 816 people.
Social distancing protocols were implemented and in effect for those in attendance.
Real Monarchs vs. San Diego Loyal SC
The Monarchs played down 1-0 for the majority of the match. San Diego took control of the scoreboard during the 17th minute of action and didn’t look back.
To the disappointment of the Monarchs and many of the fans in attendance, officials didn’t count multiple close shots by the Salt Lake City club, including one shot on goal that dropped down off the crossbar.
“There’s nothing there that we can control. He missed the calls but I’m not going to talk about that because we can watch the replay and make our conclusion,” Monarchs head coach Jamison Olave said after the match. “I’m really proud of what the players did. In the first half maybe we conceded a little bit too much but in the second half fought and created a couple of chances and the players did well.”
The Monarchs picked up their first loss of the season with the result.
Their next match will be against Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC on Saturday, July 18. It will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium and broadcast via the KSL TV app.
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