Rio Tinto Stadium

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Rio Tinto Stadium
The RioT
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Rio Tinto Stadium, March 4, 2017
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Rio Tinto Stadium
Location in Utah
Usa edcp relief location map.png
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Rio Tinto Stadium
Location in the United States
Address9256 South State Street
Location Sandy, Utah
Coordinates 40°34′59″N111°53′35″W / 40.582923°N 111.893156°W / 40.582923; -111.893156 Coordinates: 40°34′59″N111°53′35″W / 40.582923°N 111.893156°W / 40.582923; -111.893156
Public transit BSicon TRAM1.svg Sandy Expo (UTA station)
Owner Dell Loy Hansen
Operator Dell Loy Hansen
Capacity 20,213 [1]
Field size120 × 75 yards [2]
Surface Kentucky Bluegrass
Construction
Broke groundAugust 12, 2006
OpenedOctober 9, 2008
Construction cost $110 million [3]
($128 million in 2018 dollars [4] )
Architect Rossetti Architects
Project managerICON Venue Group [5]
Structural engineerMartin & Associates [6]
Services engineerM-E Engineers, Inc. [6]
General contractorLayton-Turner Joint Venture [6]
Tenants
Real Salt Lake (MLS) (2008–present)
Real Monarchs SLC (USL) (2015–2017)
Utah Royals FC (NWSL) (2018–present)

Rio Tinto Stadium (commonly referred to as simply Rio Tinto or The RioT) is an American soccer-specific stadium in Sandy, Utah, that serves as home stadium for Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake and National Women's Soccer League club Utah Royals FC. The stadium opened on October 9, 2008, and seats 20,213 for soccer, but can be expanded to over 25,000 for concerts. [3]

Soccer-specific stadium

Soccer-specific stadium is a term used mainly in the United States and Canada to refer to a sports stadium either purpose-built or fundamentally redesigned for soccer and whose primary function is to host soccer matches, as opposed to a multipurpose stadium which is for a variety of sports. A soccer-specific stadium may host other sporting events and concerts, but the design and purpose of a soccer-specific stadium is primarily for soccer. Some facilities have a permanent stage at one end of the stadium used for staging concerts.

Sandy, Utah City in Utah, United States

Sandy is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States. The population was 87,461 at the 2010 census, making it the sixth-largest city in Utah.

Major League Soccer Professional soccer league

Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 24 teams—21 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada and constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues in both countries. The regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Fourteen teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs through October and November, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship. MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Contents

The stadium hosted the 2009 MLS All-Star Game, the second leg of the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League Finals, and the final of the 2013 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. It was also a host stadium during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and a host for final stages of the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship.

2009 MLS All-Star Game

The 2009 Major League Soccer All-Star Game was the 14th annual MLS All-Star Game. The MLS All-Stars faced Everton of the Premier League on July 29, 2009. The match ended in a 1–1 draw at full-time and went to an immediate penalty shootout, which Everton won 4–3. Everton's American goalkeeper Tim Howard, who saved three kicks in the shootout, was named MVP of the match. This was the first win for an international club team in six tries against the MLS All-Stars, and remains Everton's last competitive trophy the club has won.

The 2011 CONCACAF Champions League Finals was the final of the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League, and the third final of the current format of the CONCACAF Champions League. The match was contested in a two-leg aggregate format between April 20–27, 2011.

2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup

The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup was the 12th CONCACAF Gold Cup competition and the 22nd CONCACAF regional championship overall in CONCACAF's fifty years of existence. The United States was the host nation.

Approval history

In 2005 a soccer-specific stadium for the team was approved for Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City. However, funding for the stadium was still hard to come by. A vote in early 2006 struck down a funding proposal for the stadium. However, Tom Dolan, the mayor of Sandy, said that he would not give up on his fight to approve the proposal in Sandy. The funding plan was revised, but was struck down later in 2006 over disagreements in the appropriation of millions of hotel-tax dollars for a financially unproven sports franchise. The proposal for Sandy was declared "dead" by Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts at that point, putting the team's future in doubt. Checketts said that he wanted the team to remain in Utah, but would sell it if a proposal was not put forward by August 12, 2006.

Dave Checketts American businessman

David W. Checketts is an American businessman. Checketts is the founder and chairman of SCP Worldwide. He also sits on the board of JetBlue Airways and was the original owner of the Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake. He was the CEO of Legends, which operates One World Observatory.

Parties from several cities, including Rochester, New York and St. Louis, Missouri, expressed interest in purchasing the franchise and moving it. Other stadium sites in the area were also proposed, including the Utah State Fairgrounds in Salt Lake City, and the tiny town of Vineyard, just west of Provo. Finally, on the very day Checketts had set as a deadline to have a stadium plan in place or decide to sell the team, and after months of up and down discussions with local municipalities, county, and state officials and a change in the funding structure, a tacit agreement between Checketts, Sandy City, and Salt Lake County was put in place, and Real Salt Lake announced that they would move forward with the construction of Real Salt Lake Stadium, [7] which would ultimately be named Rio Tinto Stadium. The groundbreaking, coinciding with the Xango Cup, Real's match against international power Real Madrid, took place that afternoon featuring elected leaders, team officials, as well as the entire rosters of both Real Salt Lake and Real Madrid. On August 15, the deal was officially approved by the Salt Lake County Council. [8]

Vineyard, Utah City in Utah, United States

Vineyard is a city in Utah County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Provo–Orem Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 139 at the 2010 census. The population estimate was 3,953 as of 2016, 8,000 as of May 2017, 10,250 as of September 2017, and over 14,000 as of August 2018.

Provo, Utah City in Utah, United States

Provo is the third-largest city in Utah, United States. It is 43 miles (69 km) south of Salt Lake City along the Wasatch Front. Provo is the largest city and county seat of Utah County.

Rio Tinto Stadium sits at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. Riotintosnow.jpg
Rio Tinto Stadium sits at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.

The stadium plan encountered difficulties however after the Debt Review Committee of Salt Lake County voted against the stadium proposal 4–0 on January 26, 2007, citing what they saw as Real Salt Lake's financial inviability as the reasoning behind the lack of support. County mayor Corroon concurred with the DRC and the stadium plan was effectively killed on January 29, 2007. In response Real Salt Lake's owner announced the team would be sold and likely move out of the Salt Lake area after the 2007 season. [9]

The Sandy Stadium proposal was not completely dead, however: a new stadium proposal was made on February 2, that would divert 15 percent, roughly $2 million a year, of the county's hotel taxes to the stadium project beginning in July until 2017. [10] Such a deal would have to have been made by February 9, or the deal would have been completely off. [11] The bill was passed by the State Senate. [12]

After Governor Huntsman made a move that would allow the team to remain in Salt Lake County: the Utah House approved House bill 1SHB38, by a 48–24 margin, effectively approving $35 million towards the development of Real Salt Lake's new home. The governor was expected to sign the bill, [13] and ultimately did so.

Sandy City, along with the state of Utah and representatives of the team, finally came to an agreement regarding the placement of the Real stadium. The deal was shot down about a week prior to the agreement by the Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon saying it was too risky. However, Utah's governor, Jon Huntsman, Jr. said that soccer was here to stay. The $110 million stadium was built in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Rossetti's California office was the architecture firm responsible for the design of the new stadium. The stadium's opening date was set for October 9, 2008, when Real Salt Lake hosted the New York Red Bulls. [14]

Construction history

After considering sites in downtown Salt Lake City, Vineyard, and Provo, a soccer-specific stadium for Real Salt Lake was approved for the city of Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City, in late 2005; however, funding for the stadium was hard to come by. A vote in January 2006 struck down a funding proposal for the stadium, and the project was declared "dead" by owner Dave Checketts on January 29, putting the team's future in doubt. Parties from cities such as Rochester, New York, and St Louis, Missouri, expressed interest in purchasing the franchise and moving it, and Checketts announced that the team would likely be sold and moved out of the Salt Lake area by the end of the 2007 season.

In response to the rejection of the stadium plan, local construction company Anderson Geneva offered the club 30 acres (12 ha) of land on which to build the stadium just east of Interstate 15 in Sandy for free, at an estimated loss on the price of the land at US $10 million. The move prompted the club to make a new proposal to the Utah State Senate on February 2, 2006, in which 15% of the hotel taxes collected in Salt Lake County between July 2007 and 2017, equaling about US $2 million a year, would be diverted to the project. The bill was passed by the Senate, allowing for the club to announce the commencement of building what was then known as "RSL Stadium".

The groundbreaking of the stadium took place on August 12, 2006, featuring elected leaders of the state of Utah, as well as team officials and the rosters of both Real Salt Lake and Spanish club Real Madrid, who were due to play each other in a Xango Cup match a few days after the fact.

On September 28, 2008, it was announced that the naming rights to the stadium were sold to international mining company Rio Tinto, owners of local mining operation Kennecott Utah Copper. A 15-year deal was set into place, worth between $1.5 million and $2 million per year. [15]

The stadium opened on October 9, 2008, in a Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls.

Use

Club soccer

Because the stadium was under construction throughout 2008 and did not open until late in the year, most of Real Salt Lake's 2008 season was spent in their original home at Rice-Eccles Stadium, on the grounds of the University of Utah in downtown Salt Lake City. The first match (and first event overall) held within the stadium was a Major League Soccer match between RSL and the New York Red Bulls on October 9, 2008, which ended in a 1–1 draw between the two in front of a then-sellout crowd of 20,008 people. A few weeks later, the stadium also played host to the first playoff game in RSL history against Chivas USA, in which the home side ended up winning 1–0 in front of another sellout crowd.

On July 29, 2009, the stadium played host to the 2009 Major League Soccer All-Star Game between a team of MLS All-Stars and Premier League side Everton. The game initially ended as a 1–1 tie, leading to a penalty shootout in which the English side emerged as champions. It was the first time that a foreign team had defeated the All-Stars since the creation of the game.

Throughout 2010 and 2011, the stadium became one of the toughest venues to play at in Major League Soccer, with Real Salt Lake having an undefeated streak of 34 games at home. At the time, it was the longest undefeated streak achieved by any team in MLS history; the record has since been broken by the Houston Dynamo, who won their 35th home game on April 14, 2013.

On April 27, 2011, the stadium played host to the second leg of the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League Finals between RSL and Liga MX club CF Monterrey, for the chance to represent the continent at the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup. The Mexican side ended up winning the game 1–0, and thanks to a 2–2 draw back in Mexico during the first leg, Monterrey were declared the champions on aggregate score. The game remains the farthest point achieved by an American side in any FIFA-sponsored competition.

The stadium hosted the final of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup between RSL and D.C. United on October 1, 2013, with the away side winning the cup 1–0 in front of over 17,000 spectators.

International soccer

Since the stadium opened its doors, it has become a very popular place for the United States men's national soccer team to play matches against regional opponents. The first match held by the team at the stadium took place on September 9, 2009 against El Salvador, in a fourth-round qualifier for the 2010 FIFA World Cup; the game ended in a 2–1 victory for the home side in front of 19,000 spectators. [16] The team returned to the stadium on June 18, 2013, in a fourth-round qualifier game for the 2014 FIFA World Cup against Honduras; the home side once again won at the stadium, this time a 1–0 victory in front of 20,250 people. [17]

The stadium was used as a host stadium during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and hosted two back-to-back games for Group C on July 13, 2013. [18] In the first game, the United States defeated Cuba by a score of 4–1, while in the second, Costa Rica pulled out a 1–0 win against Belize; both games took place in front of a crowd of 17,597 spectators. [19]

The United States women's national soccer team has also played three matches against international opponents at the stadium. The first game was played on March 31, 2010, as a friendly match against Mexico; in the first winter game ever played by the US team, the home side ended up winning the match 1–0, thanks to a second half goal by Abby Wambach. [20] The second game took place as another friendly match on June 30, 2012 against Canada; once again, the home side ended up winning the game, 2–1, in front of 16,800 spectators. [21] The third game was a friendly match on September 13, 2014 against Mexico; the home side ended up winning 8–0. [22]

Additionally, the stadium hosted the 4 knockout stage matches of the 2015 CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship. [23] These included a 2–0 Honduras victory over the United States and a 2–0 Mexico victory over Canada in the semifinals, then a 2–0 United States victory over Canada in the third place game and a 2–0 Mexico victory over Honduras in the final.

Football

Since 2011, the stadium has played host to the XFINITY High School Football Challenge, a series of games that pits local teams Alta and Jordan against opponents from across the country. In the 2013 edition, the Alta Hawks took on the Bergen Catholic Crusaders of New Jersey, while the Jordan Beetdiggers faced the Allentown Redbirds, also of New Jersey. This game was discontinued after the 2013 edition.

The stadium has also hosted the Zion's Bank Top of the Mountains Bowl, a bowl game of the NJCAA, since 2008. This game was discontinued after the 2011 edition.

Rugby

Rio Tinto Stadium has been used on several occasions for rugby matches. The first rugby match in the stadium took place between college sides BYU and Utah in March 2010, and was also used as the site of the 2011 USA Rugby Championship, in which UC-Berkeley defeated Brigham Young 21–14. The following year BYU faced Arkansas State University in the final, defeating them. In May 2014, the Varsity Cup Collegiate Rugby National Championship final match saw Brigham Young defeat UC-Berkeley 43–33 in front of 10,172 fans. [24]

Utah Warriors (rugby union) will play an exhibition game against Glendale Raptors at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 30, 2018, ahead of their inaugural Major League Rugby season. [25]

Concerts

DateArtist(s)Opening act(s)TourTickets soldRevenueAdditional notes
May 9, 2009 The Eagles Michelle Branch Long Road Out of Eden Tour The first concert ever held at the stadium. [26]
July 13, 2010 Paul McCartney Up and Coming Tour 25,414 / 25,414$3,193,716This is the first time McCartney had ever done a show in the state of Utah. [27] [28]
September 22, 2010 KISS The Hottest Show on Earth Tour This was the band's first show in the state in seven years.
July 21, 2011 Journey Foreigner
Night Ranger
Eclipse Tour
July 28, 2012 Neil Diamond
July 27, 2013 Jason Aldean Thomas Rhett
Jake Owen
2013 Night Train Tour

Attendance records (soccer)

Real Salt Lake games

As of September 2, 2018
RankDateGameResultAttendanceNotes
1September 1, 2018vs LA Galaxy W 6–221,363
2September 19, 2015vs LA Galaxy W 3–021,004
3July 4, 2015vs Orlando City SC D 1–120,956
4March 2, 2016vs Flag of Mexico.svg Tigres UANL D 1–120,921 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League
5July 24, 2015vs Sporting Kansas City W 2–120,809
6May 23, 2015vs New York City FC W 2–020,801
7March 29, 2015vs Toronto FC W 2–120,794
8September 28, 2011vs Chicago Fire L 0–320,762
9April 27, 2011vs Flag of Mexico.svg Monterrey L 0–120,738 2011 CONCACAF Champions League Finals
10November 1, 2014vs LA Galaxy D 0–020,713 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs Semifinals

Utah Royals FC games

As of September 9, 2018
RankDateGameResultAttendanceNotes
1April 14, 2018vs Chicago Red Stars L 0–119,203Inaugural home game
2September 8, 2018vs Chicago Red Stars W 2–111,851
3July 14, 2018vs Orlando Pride L 1–28,761
4August 11, 2018vs Seattle Reign FC L 0–18,740
5July 20, 2018vs North Carolina Courage D 0–08,529
6June 27, 2018vs Seattle Reign FC D 0–08,504
7April 28, 2018vs Portland Thorns FC D 1–18,446
8June 30, 2018vs Sky Blue FC W 3–18,394
9May 19, 2018vs Houston Dash W 1–08,323
10August 8, 2018vs Washington Spirit W 1–08,154

International games

Men's

As of April 4, 2017
RankDateGameResultAttendanceNotes
1September 4, 2015Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico vs Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago 3–320,560Friendly match
2June 18, 2013Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of Honduras.svg  Honduras 1–020,250 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fourth Round
3September 5, 2009Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador 2–119,066 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – CONCACAF Fourth Round
4July 13, 2013Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 4–117,597 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group C
Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica vs Flag of Belize.svg  Belize 1–0
5June 3, 2017Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela 1–117,315Friendly match

Women's

As of June 8, 2018[ citation needed ]
RankDateGameResultAttendanceNotes
1June 30, 2012Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 2–116,805Friendly match
2October 19, 2016Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 4–014,336Friendly match
3June 7, 2018Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China PR 1–013,230Friendly match
4September 13, 2014Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 8–08,849Friendly match
5March 31, 2010Flag of the United States.svg  United States vs Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 1–03,732Friendly match

Sponsorship

On September 20, 2008, it was announced that the naming rights to the stadium would be awarded to international mining company Rio Tinto, the owners of the local Kennecott Utah Copper mining company and its Bingham Canyon Mine on the west side of the Salt Lake Valley. A 10-year naming deal was signed, valued at around $1.5 million to $2 million a year. [29]

Other major sponsors within the stadium include Maverik, America First Credit Union, Vivint, Budweiser, and Zions Bank.

Transportation

The stadium is located near the interchange between US Highway 89 (State Street) and Utah State Route 209 (9000 South), and is easily accessible from Interstate 15; however, parking near the stadium is very limited. The stadium is also accessible by light rail via the Blue Line of UTA TRAX; the nearest station is Sandy Expo on 9400 South.

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References

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  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 28, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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  4. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
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  17. "2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™". FIFA.com. Retrieved July 26, 2015.
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  25. "March 30th home opener moved to Rio Tinto stadium".
  26. "Eagles soar at Rio Tinto Stadium's first concert". Desert News. May 10, 2009. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  27. "PAUL MCCARTNEY TO MAKE FIRST-EVER UTAH APPEARANCE IN RIO TINTO STADIUM CONCERT ON TUESDAY, JULY 13,". AEG Presents. May 17, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
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  29. "Real Salt Lake, Rio Tinto Agree To Stadium Naming-Rights Deal". SportsBusiness Daily. September 29, 2008. Retrieved May 24, 2018.
Preceded by
Rice-Eccles Stadium
Home of Real Salt Lake
2008–present
Succeeded by
current