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Rio Tinto Stadium to open for fans with reduced capacity for Real Monarchs match

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The move comes as cases remain high in Salt Lake County.

MLS: MLS Cup Playoffs-Round One-Portland Timbers at Real Salt Lake Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There’s surprising news out of Salt Lake County this morning, with Real Salt Lake announcing that Rio Tinto Stadium will re-open for a Real Monarchs match on July 11. Attendance will be limited to 5,300.

That’s just a day after Salt Lake County’s current mask mandate is set to expire.

Salt Lake County remains a hotspot for COVID-19, with 340 new cases reported for Tuesday, which is near the statistic’s peak.

Case numbers in Salt Lake County from usafacts.org

In a club-issued release, RSL chief business officer Andy Carroll said “health and safety” for fans, players and staff was the top priority, and that there would be “safe distances” between seats.

“Our staff has worked diligently to develop a comprehensive plan that ensures that we have a safe, healthy and fun environment for our fans while experiencing a great match at Rio Tinto Stadium. The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and community has been the top priority throughout our process in seeking creative solutions to safely open our stadium to fans. With safe distances between seats and other safety measures in place, we are proud and excited to welcome our fans back as the Monarchs return to the field in defense of their USL Championship title. We are very grateful to the thoughtful and steady leadership that we have in Salt Lake County and throughout Utah state government in providing this opportunity.”