Real Salt Lake Begins 2022 With Consecutive Home Sell Outs, Improved Fan Engagement

Mar 22, 2022, 11:01 AM | Updated: 11:05 am
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake has sold out its opening two home games of 2022 signifying a return of the community within the walls of an improved Rio Tinto Stadium.

Reasons behind the increased attention and admiration for the club are unknown, but one can speculate.

Recently, the club has endured a lot of change, most notably the arrival of a new ownership group in David Blitzer, Ryan Smith, and Scott Krase. The immediate energy instilled within the club and community following the news that new owners had arrived was palpable. Relief, it seemed, that the Dell Loy Hansen era was officially over.

The concrete blocks that were the walls of Rio Tinto Stadium began to change in color. Claret, Cobalt, and other Real Salt Lake-themed colors began to pop up on walls that had only seen the light of day previously. The club attempted to reach out to community members, fans young and old, to try and will them back to Real Salt Lake home games pleading that the atmosphere and experience had improved.

The effort has been met with a louder, more passionate, and excited fanbase.

The full-time hiring of Pablo Mastroeni has also played a role in the return of RSL. Mastroeni led Real Salt Lake to the Western Conference Final in 2021 with signs of a club revival imminent when fans welcomed the team back from a conference semifinal victory over Sporting Kansas City in the wee hours of the morning.

Since then, Mastroeni has been able to add to the momentum gained throughout the 2021 playoff run.

The team is currently tied atop the West alongside LAFC on 10 points. They are one of just six teams that remain unbeaten in 2022 and have endured arguably the toughest four-week start to the season of any team in the league with no end in sight as fixtures against SKC, Colorado, Toronto, NYCFC, Portland, Galaxy, Nashville all await.

Furthermore, unlike previous years, fans are interacting on social media more frequently. Photos of fans at the stadium interacting with the new art are aiding the club’s rise.

Without question, the energy of the Real Salt Lake faithful is at a high not seen or heard since the days of Jason Kreis and the CONCACAF Champions League. The club still has a lot of work to do. Signing one or two designated players would be a good start, finding consistency in the supporter’s chants (which has improved mightily) would also be welcomed.

But for now, things are looking bright. The team is winning, the fans are happy, and Real Salt Lake is returning to its respected ways. Long last.

Next Match

Real Salt Lake’s start to the season does not get any easier next week as they travel to Children’s Mercy Park for a date with Sporting Kansas City. The fixture is scheduled for Saturday, March 26, with kickoff at 5 p.m.

It will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.

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