As we come to terms with the name and its likely inevitability, we can start to really ask questions about Real Monarchs, Real Salt Lake's USL Pro team. We all have questions, so let's get to it.
Did the Fairpark Board officially approve building the stadium?
Not yet. In fact, there's no timeline on when they'll vote, says Salt Lake Tribune reporter Chris Kamrani. (He'll feature heavily here, because he went to the meeting and he reported on it.) The Chairman of the Board, Roger Beattie, says they're hoping to have negotiations wrapped up by the end of the year. This sounds a lot like conditionally approving it, but these things are always tricky, I guess.
So why didn't they approve it now?
Those negotiations we talked about aren't all about the stadium. Before that can be approved — it's a long-lease deal, something in the range of 40 years per reports — the Fairpark Board has to negotiate a longer lease.
Is the USL Pro team really going to be called Real Monarchs?
Apparently so, yes. I wouldn't hang on to any hopes that it'll change, but feel free to protest anyway. It is a fair bit of fun. Picketing tifo, anyone?
And they named a president already?
Yep. Rob Zarkos, long-time affiliate of Dell Loy Hansen, will be the president of the new club. According to his LinkedIn profile (people keep those updated, right?) he became president of Real Monarch, LLC, in August, and he's been vice president of "Wasatch/DLH Real, LLC" since June 2010. He's a Dell Loy Hansen guy and a lawyer, and that's really the most we know right now.
What if the deal doesn't happen?
That's a wonderful question. We're licensed with USL Pro starting in 2015, and the Monarchs are set to start play then at Rio Tinto Stadium. Even if the stadium deal falls through, it's hard to imagine there's not a secondary plan — what exactly that would entail is difficult to say. We may not have full resolution until the end of the year, so we may need to exercise a little bit of patience.
Aside from waiting for official word from the Fairpark Board about the deal, we do have plenty of USL Pro news to keep us occupied between now and then. We'll be awaiting news about the roster, coaching staff, and a whole lot more. If you can imagine it, the next two months will be as busy off the pitch as on.
What's our roster going to be like?
What do I look like, a psychic? Seriously though, here's a snippet from Garth Lagerwey on Wednesday on ESPN 700. It's worth a listen.
"There is a bunch of talent in the pipeline at the academy. We'd love to start signing a couple more of those kids that we don't have room for on the first-team roster. We have some homegrown kids that are in college right now that we've begun offering contracts to. You have a very, very good nucleus there for a USL team. I'm very, very excited about givingsome of these young kids an opportunity to really test themselves, and hopefully make some mistakes and learn from those mistakes so that they're better prepared when they join the first team."