Hackett: Real Salt Lake Expected To Stay In Town As New Ownership Interests Lurk

Aug 30, 2020, 2:04 PM | Updated: 5:51 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake, Real Monarchs and Utah Royals FC is up for sale with multiple ownership groups having already expressed interest in purchasing the proud Utah based soccer franchise.

Dell Loy Hansen has opted to sell the organization privately in the midst of a league investigation following recent allegations against him. The organization will not look to find it’s third owner since its inception into Major League Soccer back in 2004.

Ryan Smith, Qualtrics

Ryan Smith, co-founder and CEO of Qualtrics, has expressed his interest in the club.

“I’m in…they got my number,” Smith said via a Tweet in response to a fan asking him to purchase the team.

Smith’s technology business, Qualtrics, sold for $8 billion dollars in January of 2019, it was the largest private enterprise software acquisition of all time.

Ryan was named to Fortune’s 2016 40 Under 40, a list of the most powerful, influential, and successful young people in business. He was listed as one of Forbes’ “America’s Most Promising CEOs Under 35” in 2013.

Smith also involves himself within the BYU Athletic Departement as he acts as one of the school’s most influential boosters.

The Miller Group

The Miller Group is another popular candidate to take over ownership at Real Salt Lake. The Miller’s currently own the Utah Jazz and has been one of Utah’s most influential and successful business families for many decades.

The Miller’s have experience owning a sporting team within the state of Utah, a successful sporting team at that. If the Miller’s do throw their hand up and attempt to buy the team from Hansen, the fanbase will likely rejoice.

The Utah Jazz, much like RSL, is considered a “small-market” team in the NBA, yet, the Jazz continues to make deep Western Conference playoff runs attracting national attention for their continued ability to scout at a very high level.

Jozy Altidore & Co.

Much is still unknown regarding the interest levels of Jozy Altidore. However, according to Twitter, it seems as though Nick Rimando may have something to do with the so-called “group” that Altidore claims are ready to purchase RSL.

“I’m involved in a group that’s ready to purchase it. Time for change,” Altidore tweeted when news started to circulate regarding the racist allegations made against Hansen.

Jozy Altidore still plays for Toronto FC but would certainly be welcome by the RSL faithful to finish his playing career at Real Salt Lake.

Furthermore, Altidore and Rimando understand the nuances of Major League Soccer and how it operates. They have both played at the professional level for a combined 33 years.

The Club Is Staying

Regardless of who ends up becoming the new owner of Real Salt Lake, one thing is almost certain. Real Salt Lake is staying in Utah.

The facilities that currently exist, thanks to the construction and vision of Hansen, are some of the best in the country.

“We are fully invested in supporting the transition to new ownership and will work diligently to try to ensure that the Club stays within our community,” Hansen wrote in his statement.

The game of soccer is well and truly alive and healthy in the state of Utah. The NWSL recently held its COVID-19 makeshift Challenge Cup Tournament in Herriman, Utah at the Zions Bank Academy because the facilities were so inviting.

Even if new ownership comes from an out of state market, the league will likely get involved with keeping the clubs within the Utah market. The facilities and resources that the state of Utah provides are far too valuable for the league to let go of.

The eventual new owners of the Real Salt Lake organizations will be put in a position to succeed immediately. A change of culture and a breath of fresh air could catapult the organization back to the winning days when Jason Kreis and Javier Morales dominated the sporting headlines locally.

The next few months are going to be interesting. Strap yourselves in.





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Hackett: Real Salt Lake Expected To Stay In Town As New Ownership Interests Lurk