70ºF

Salt Lake City models for potential MLS expansion in SA

photo

SALT LAKE CITY – Fresh off the excitement of World Cup soccer this past summer, San Antonio Scorpions owner Gordon Hartman revealed plans to expand Toyota Field as part of attracting an expansion franchise in soccer's elite league, the MLS.

Like San Antonio, Salt Lake City is home to an NBA team. Unlike the Alamo City, Utah's capitol hosts an MLS team: Real Salt Lake.

"It is a market here that has a lot of parallels to San Antonio," said Garth Lagerwey, general manager of Real Salt Lake. "Tthe (Utah) Jazz here and the Spurs there are the big dogs in the market for sure."

While the Jazz are the big dogs, Real Salt Lake still gets a little bite.

"We are not competitive with the Jazz yet in the sense of budgets and payrolls," Lagerwey said.

The crowds also differ.

"It also tends to be an older audience that follows (the Jazz)," Lagerwey said. "We found that the younger audience -- a lot of young families, a lot of Millenials, a lot of young professionals -- often want to come to our games."

The two major league franchises can exist in the same city.

The guys from Real Salt Lake say if it can happen there, it can happen in San Antonio.

"San Antonio is a wonderful example of an amazing basketball franchise with great support and great supporters and I think they would take kindly to an MLS franchise," said Real Salt Lake Assistant Coach Craig Waibel.


About the Author: