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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 11, 2006

Salt Lake County offers new deal on Real stadium

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake County presented Real Salt Lake with a new funding proposal to build a stadium in suburban Sandy and keep the team from moving.

The deal offered to the Major League Soccer team late Friday could end a long stalemate before the deadline set for Saturday by Real owner Dave Checketts.

Checketts was reviewing the proposal and had no immediate comment, but Salt Lake County mayor Peter Corroon was hopeful the team would agree to the terms.

"We always feel we've maintained what we considered decorum and we also feel like we did what we could to make this deal work. We also said we'd support any team that benefits the taxpayers," Corroon said Friday.

Checketts said the public money was needed to pay for things like sewers and parking, while the team would pay for the stadium itself.

Corroon rejected the initial stadium funding plan in May, saying it would be too costly to taxpayers.

Another plan was shot down by the County Council last month, leaving Checketts so frustrated he said a deal had to be in place by Saturday's 7:30 p.m. exhibition game against Real Madrid or he would sell the team.

Political leaders made a final push with Checketts for a last-minute deal they hoped would keep Real Salt Lake from leaving after just two seasons.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported on its Web site Friday that the deal would give RSL $55 million in subsidies -- about $10 million more than the county rejected before -- but less of it would come from hotel taxes.

That would leave Real still paying the bulk of the construction costs for the 20,000-seat venue, which Checketts has said is needed for the team to stay in business.

Sandy mayor Tom Dolan said the city would kick in $15 million in redevelopment funds and $20 million would come from two bonds backed by hotel taxes.

The remaining $20 million was slated for a parking garage at a nearby shopping center, which will now be built as parking for both at the stadium site.

Leftover money in hotel taxes would go to other projects, including a downtown performing arts district in Salt Lake City.

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