SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake has experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows in its 16-year lifespan, but one thing has remained constant; relevance within the sporting landscape of Utah.
The Development Of RSL
Whether RSL was seeking its first home win at Rice Eccles Stadium or lifting the MLS Cup in 2009, RSL has always remained relevant within the state of Utah. Sporting fans have found an attraction to Rio Tinto Stadium on gameday, soccer fans or not.
Reasons for this are rather self-explanatory, RSL home matches never go longer than two hours, you cannot purchase a bad seat within the stadium, and the sights and sounds of a round ball skidding across the luscious carpet of Rio Tinto Stadium will forever hold pertinent.
The atmosphere at the RioT is worth the energy it takes to get out of your sweats and into a nice pair of pants. The stadium is filled with energy and life and promotes an inclusive, diverse atmosphere.
The club was founded in 2005 after Dave Checketts opted to purchase the expansion rights from the league for roughly $10 million. A key member within the Checketts team was a gentleman by the name of Trey Fitz-Gerald who had previously worked at the league headquarters.
Fitz-Gerald was one of only a few people to help contribute to Checkett’s dream of bringing Real Salt Lake to life. He has been, with the exception of a few years, an employee of RSL since its inception. He knows the history and happenings of RSL better than most.
Bright Future In Utah
“I think the infrastructure that has been created around the club, the ability for Real Salt Lake to have the type of relevance in the state of Utah and in the market is still very unique in Major League Soccer circles,” Fitz-Gerald said. “Most clubs don’t have what we have here, in terms of being a big fish in a small pond.”
Furthermore, Fitz-Gerald hosts a podcast titled Bleeding Claret & Cobalt where he aims to educate and share stories of the club that he has called home for so many years.
Growing the sport of soccer is a passion of Fitz-Geralds, specifically growing the game within the state borders of Utah.
Since Checkett’s and MLS agreed to bring a team to Utah, the club has developed into a formidable weapon within the league. The facilities in Herriman are considered some of, if not the most, world-class soccer infrastructure in North America. It will host Club América for a week prior to the Liga MX fixture against Santos Laguna on July 4 and is a frequent destination for the US Men’s and Women’s National Teams as a training hub.