REAL SALT LAKE

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

Real Salt Lake

Liga MX Rio Tinto Real Salt Lake...
Mark Jones

Real Salt Lake to raise money for suicide prevention

Long time Real Salt Lake fan Branden Steineckert is helping the team raise funds for suicide prevention.
6 days ago
Liga MX new real salt lake owners...
Paul Nelson

New Real Salt Lake owners excited for the team’s future, MLS officials say partnership is ‘the perfect fit’

In their first address to the media, the new Real Salt Lake owners shared their vision for the club and their new stewardship. 
4 months ago
Liga MX Rio Tinto Real Salt Lake...
Paul Nelson

Group of investors reportedly agree to purchase Real Salt Lake

Many details about the purchase of Real Salt Lake are slow in coming, but one thing is clear -- the team is staying in Salt Lake.
6 months ago
Liga MX Rio Tinto Real Salt Lake...
Madeleine Porter

Real Salt Lake wants you to wear blue for home opener

Real Salt Lake announced Wednesday they have turned the once white seats on the home, or east side, of their stadium blue.
1 year ago
Kyle Beckerman...
Paul Nelson

Real Salt Lake excited for new owners according to captain

While the rumors are swirling about who the new Real Salt Lake owners will be, players and coaches keep their focus on things they can control. 
2 years ago
Real Salt Lake Owner...
Paul Nelson

Real Salt Lake owner to be investigated for alleged racist comments

A public apology from Real Salt Lake Owner Dell Loy Hansen. The controversy started Thursday morning when Hansen spoke on X96 about the game’s cancellation.
2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

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.
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?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
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