Real Salt Lake is hoping an impressive political fan club will resurrect a funding plan for a Sandy stadium.
The professional soccer team plans to continue pitching a funding plan to Salt Lake County, but this time, with the help of Utah's power players: Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and additional legislators, who are now on board.
Real management spent Wednesday meeting with Utah leaders, rallying support. Team owner Dave Checketts has a self-imposed deadline of this Saturday to lock in a stadium site and funding. That is also the day of the highly anticipated Real Salt Lake vs. Real Madrid game.
Team officials also met Wednesday with Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. He remains optimistic that the stadium will be in his hometown but realizes it's a tough task.
"They didn't say 'yes,' they didn't say 'no,' " Dolan said. "They're still working on numbers, and they hope to see it happen."
However, he added, "I just don't see how they can get the county to move."
Dolan said Real has already bought 20 acres at the site on 9400 S. State and has options on an additional 30-40 acres around the stadium. The team is currently actively pursuing that property, he said.
Real is working on more funding plans for the Sandy site. But Salt Lake County has already shot down one plan from Real this week.
Checketts sent a team of financial advisers from New York to find a stadium-funding solution. One adviser met with county leaders Wednesday to pitch an idea but struck out, as county officials yet again nixed a funding plan that would have used hotel-tax dollars to buy land and build infrastructure for the stadium.
Every plan brought before Salt Lake County leaders to date includes millions in hotel-tax dollars, but so far, no plan has passed Mayor Peter Corroon's muster.