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Why RSL's training academy will be the best in MLS

Herriman City Council Planning Commission agenda

The proposed Real Salt Lake Training Academy, with its $45-50 million price tag, promises to be one of the best in the region.

It certainly would be the most expensive. Let's compare.

The RSL Training Academy would feature eight fields, four of which are grass. Two of the turf fields would be indoor, and one outdoor turf field would feature a 2,800-seat stadium.

Toronto FC's Kia Training Ground & Academy, owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, cost an estimated $17.3 million, according to Sports Illustrated's Ambition Rankings. They have seven fields, three of which are grass. Two of their turf fields can be "bubbled" for inclement weather play.

New York Red Bulls' training facility cost an initial $6 million, with a multi-million dollar expansion. It has four fields, three of which are natural grass.

Vancouver Whitecaps spent CA$32.5 million ($24.76 million USD today, although exchange rates have changed significantly) on a facility at the University of British Columbia with five fields, three of which are grass.

The latest, Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, cost $5 million initially, and the expansion cost was $15 million. That features nine full-sized fields, three of which are natural grass.

Finally, Grande Sports Academy, where Real Salt Lake's Arizona-based academy is hosted, which cost something around $20 million when it was constructed in 2010. It's not owned by Real Salt Lake.

While Real Salt Lake's new facility has yet to be built, it should very well up the training facility game. It also promotes an integrated perspective to the team, with the academy being literally next to the first team training.