State Fairpark Update

Fairpark board wants to pursue discussions with Hansen,
RSL Published on Sep 22, 2014 05:21PM The Utah State Fairpark
board is eager to pursue a partnership with Dell Loy Hansen and
Real Salt Lake. That much is clear. But if the club’s owner and
the Fairpark are to officially enter contract negotiations regarding
the building of a potential minor-league soccer stadium to house
the club’s USL Pro team, the Real Monarchs, other developments
need to progress. Fairpark executive director Michael Steele said
Monday the board came away extremely impressed after Hansen
made his pitch on Sept. 10.

“I haven’t heard really of any detractors,” Steele said. “It’s about
getting the correct deal for the team and the Fairpark.” The Utah
State Fairpark Corporation’s lease on the Fairpark grounds
expires on June 30, 2017, but upgrades on facilities within the
park need to be made for the longevity of the grounds.

fair parkSteele said per the terms of the lease, any improvements made
on the grounds over $100,000 immediately become property of
the state of Utah. Which means Hansen’s potential stadium —
after the planned 40-to-50-year-lease — would be donated to the
Fairpark Corporation and then become an asset of the state. Now, it’s ensuring the landmark deal benefits the Fairpark and its long-term survival. “The board wants to pursue this and that was right from the meeting,” Steele said. “They want to pursue discussions with Real and Dell Loy…but by no means will this soccer complex save the Utah State Fairpark.  It will help.

“Steele said the rodeo grounds must be renovated and an expo
center must be constructed to help boost the overall versatility of
the Fairpark.

Located a few blocks west of downtown Salt Lake City, the
Fairpark has been in discussion with the state on extending its
lease on the 65 acres despite decades of dealing with struggles
and lack of funding to maintain the historic buildings. Hansen’s
stadium pitch — estimated to be as much as $18 million —
would be paid for solely out of his own pocket, which would allow
the Fairpark to avoid needing taxpayer money for upgrades or
subsidies from the state.

The stadium, which would feature artificial turf, is expected to
seat 6-to-8,000 and be ready for the Monarchs to begin play in
2016. In the mean time, Steele anticipates further negotiation
with Hansen, Gov. Herbert and the legislature to continue in the
next couple of weeks. While the Fairpark board wants to engage
in official discussions with RSL, the next part of the process turns
to the nailing down how a new master plan of the grounds can
generate revenue and impact business along 10th West and North
Temple.