Real Salt Lake Owners David Blitzer, Ryan Smith Detail Acquisition, Club’s Future
SALT LAKE CITY – New Real Salt Lake owners David Blitzer and Ryan Smith detailed the process of becoming the “stewards” of Utah’s Major League Soccer club.
MLS announced Blitzer and Smith as part of RSL’s new ownership on Wednesday, January 5.
Blitzer will serve as Governor for RSL and Smith/Smith Entertainment Group will serve as the club’s alternate Governor. The transaction also included Rio Tinto Stadium, Zions Bank Training Center, and RSL Academy in Herriman, Utah.
A day after the announcement, MLS commissioner Don Garber and the two owners discussed the acquisition and their plans for the future of Real Salt Lake.
Blitzer said those plans include a second MLS Cup trophy for RSL.
“I think we are purely, purely interested and super competitive of wanting to have a team that’s gonna win the MLS Cup,” Blitzer said. “Let’s be clear, there’s no doubt about that.”
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“I never in my wildest dreams would have been able to see that Blitzer would choose Utah because of his soccer portfolio,” Smith said. “I mean, I hope Utahns are excited and really understand that David’s been looking at the MLS for 10 years, has probably one of the top two soccer portfolios in the world. And we’re not just getting someone coming in, we’re getting an entire network and our footprint just expanded. And that’s pretty special.”
“I’m very bullish on the MLS and I’m very bullish on U.S. Soccer, and just where this country is going with this sport,” Blitzer said. It was all about the partner and the market. And so to Ryan’s point, I’ve looked at investing in various MLS clubs, since I moved back to the U.S. about close to 10 years ago. But it just didn’t click in that sense in terms of the partner and the marketplace. And this clicked very clearly. I mean, incredible market, incredible state, incredible infrastructure, and an incredible partner.”
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Blitzer brings a wide variety of experience in professional sports to RSL. He is a shareholder in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, NHL’s New Jersey Devils, and soccer’s Crystal Palace F.C. and FC Augsburg.
“This market just got larger in the sense that they can touch the UK from a soccer perspective or Germany or some of those amazing other soccer markets,” Blitzer added. “I don’t know what that means. But my sense is there will be benefits. I’d love to see one of the European teams come and play on a tour in Salt Lake and come to the Academy.”
Smith, who owns the Utah Jazz, highlighted the synergy between RSL and the state’s NBA team.
“It’s about community. We both believe this. We’re stewards over this,” Smith said. “We’re all in on Utah and we’re all in on MLS.”
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 6, 2022
“We’re early in our journey,” Blitzer said. “I think it’ll be exciting.”
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