New RSL Ownership Group Looking At Bringing Women’s Soccer Back To Utah
Jan 6, 2022, 2:50 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – The National Women’s Soccer League may be looking to once again put down roots in Utah by bring back the Utah Royals.
When Major League Soccer announced on January 5, 2022 that David Blitzer and Ryan Smith had purchased the Real Salt Lake franchise, it rekindled hope along the Wasatch front that with a stable ownership picture for RSL, the Utah Royals could make a return as well.
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— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) January 6, 2022
The Royals spent three seasons in the Beehive state, from 2018-2020, before the franchise was sold and moved to Kansas City in December 2020.
In its three seasons in the NWSL, the Utah Royals captivated fans’ attention across the state as they were one of two franchises, along with the Portland Thorns, to average more than 10,000 fans per game.
The Royals were such an integral part of the NWSL, that they donated $900,000 to help create a bubble around Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman that allowed the league to be the first North American pro sports league to return following shutdowns due to the spread of COVID-19.
Whether it be an existing team moving or a new franchise altogether is unclear, but it seems unlikely the Royals would be ready to play in 2023. The most realistic scenario would be to have women’s soccer back in Utah for the beginning of the 2024 season.
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