When Dave Checketts officially announced that he had sold his stake in Real Salt Lake to minority owner and Utah real estate mogul Dell Loy Hansen, the man who brought the team to the state, who fought to keep it here, left a significant hole.
Hansen, who became a minority owner in Real Salt Lake during a tough financial period in 2009, has steadily increased his stake in the club before taking complete ownership. He made his name — and fortune — in property management.
With his arrival, Hansen emphasized his abilities in economic development and the importance that holds for Utah. He also emphasized the abilities of the Real Salt Lake management team already in place with RSL President Bill Manning, general manager Garth Lagerwey, and coach Jason Kreis.
"The same management's in place," Hansen said in an interview on ESPN 700, which he now owns. "I'm here to work. I want to help you guys succeed, that I'm here for you. We're going to try to create the best platform we can to win under."
What he offers, Hansen said, is an ability to harness more resources in improving the team and fan experience.
"There are a lot of powerful teams out there," he said on ESPN 700. "If you're going to compete, you're going to need more resources. The trajectory that we're looking at is to bring those resources to the team. This change opens the door to more designated franchise players."
Hansen, who stepped in during considerable financial straits when Dave Checketts, said he has worked with Zion's Bank to secure financing that will save upwards of $1 million a year, and that the club's loans are consolidated. This, among other financial considerations, will allow the club to look more seriously at securing designated players, he said.
"(We need) the ability to have a team that, if not profitable, is not hemorrhaging money," he said. "The fan experience should go up, the ability to get into the designated franchise players, the ability to pay more money to coaches. Resources should be the takeaway — this change should give us more resources."
Hansen said he is also focused on providing fans with increased accessibility to the team, citing the move to KTVX and KUCW for entirely HD match feeds.
"I'm committed that when you're not at the game, you're going to have a great connectivity to your team, building a media franchise that builds around Real's content." he said. "There are a number of other intiatives so we're building more economic power around this franchise. That's a long term vision."
Among other things, Hansen told ESPN 700 that by 2014, Real Salt Lake will have a youth academy setup in Salt Lake City, citing the strength historic clubs like Barcelona pull from their academies.
The terms of the detail are not disclosed. Hansen is now sole owner of Real Salt Lake, Rio Tinto Stadium, and ESPN700.