HEALTH

Real Salt Lake canceled home opening game

Aug 26, 2020, 7:09 PM | Updated: 7:12 pm
(Workers at Rio Tinto Stadium placing social distance reminders on each seat. Courtesy, Taran Meyer, RSL)
(Workers at Rio Tinto Stadium placing social distance reminders on each seat. Courtesy, Taran Meyer, RSL)

SANDY – Soccer fans in Utah will have to wait a while longer.   Officials with Real Salt Lake canceled their game with LAFC as players on both sides are protesting the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Club officials say they had sold enough tickets to nearly reach their limit of 5,000 fans, and hundreds were actually in attendance when the team broke the news.

Real Salt Lake still has games against Portland, Seattle, Minnesota, and Colorado on their schedule.  So, how do you keep that many people in one spot safe from the spread of COVID-19?

This wouldn’t have been the first time professional sports has been played at the RioT after the global pandemic started.  The club hosted two Real Monarch games in early July, and Spokesman Taran Meyer says both events were huge successes.

Meyer says, “We didn’t run into any issues with the people that were there.  The feedback we got from the fans that were in attendance was nothing but positive, and I don’t say that lightly.”

However, Meyer acknowledges attendance was much smaller for those two games.  One had over 800 fans in the stadium, and the other had less than 600.  Still, Meyer says they used what they learned from those games to increase the security measure they’re implementing for 2020 home games.

For instance, they’ve mapped out a very precise entry and exit strategy for all fans.  Those sitting closest to the field are going to enter first, while those sitting higher up will enter last.  When the game is over, that order will flip.  Meyer says this plan has to be timed perfectly, so, gone are the days when a fan can show up late for a game and still get their seat.

“Whoever bought a ticket, they have an entry time on your ticket,” Meyer says.

(One of the social distancing reminders fans can expect to see at an RSL game. Courtesy Taran Meyer, RSL)

Of course, there will also be all of the other safety measures people have come to expect in the “new normal.”  Everyone will get their temperature checked at the gate, fans will be required to stick to their assigned seats, and fan groups will have to stick together without mingling with any other people.  Also, the first seven rows have to be empty so the fans don’t get too close to the players.

Meyer says, “We have a number of staff in each aisle and each section that will be monitoring things like that.”

Plus, they’ve had to significantly limit what they sell at the concession stands.

“Not all concession stands will be open, and there will be no made-to-order meals.  It’s a lot of general items that are already prepackaged and ready to go,” he says.

Not every MLS game will look like what we may see in Rio Tinto.  Some cities will decide not to have fans, depending on safety recommendations from their state.  However, Meyer says the county, the state, and the league have all approved RSL’s plans.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

intermountain healthcare...
Mark Jones

Name change coming to Intermountain Healthcare next year

In 2023, Intermountain Healthcare will change its name to Intermountain Health.
22 hours ago
ovarian cancer...
Simone Seikaly

A new chance for a fighting chance against ovarian cancer

What may be most alarming about ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are there, but they are quiet and can be mistaken for something else.
22 hours ago
Lincoln Beach pictured. Two shooting at Utah Lake happened near this beach....
Simone Seikaly

Utah County Health issues warning about harmful algal blooms

Utah County officials have detected high levels of harmful algal blooms at multiple Utah Lake marinas and beaches.
22 hours ago
Intermountain milestone 1 million tests...
Mark Jones

Intermountain Healthcare purchases land near Ephraim

Intermountain Healthcare has plans to develop 35 acres of land in the Ephraim area into a new hospital.
2 days ago
At 5800 So. 1400 W. you find an irrigation canal that attracts  a lot of waterfowl, seagulls and ev...
Mark Jones

Officials warn of additional cases of avian influenza

With the fall migration of wild waterfowl, state officials are warning bird owners to be prepared for additional cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza or avian influenza.
2 days ago
Utah homes are recording high levels of radon gas. 
Photo credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News...
Heather Kelly and Elizabeth Weiler

Utah homes have some of the highest levels of radon gas

New research finds that Utah homes have the 5th highest levels of radon gas when compared to the rest of the nation. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that one in 15 homes in the U.S. have dangerous levels of radon gas. Utah is at much higher risk, as the agency found one in […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Real Salt Lake canceled home opening game