With Dell Loy Hansen agreeing to sell Utah Soccer Holdings — under some heavy fire, it must be said — we come to one inevitable question: What’s next?
Hansen’s soccer-related assets are spread across several companies, so let’s go through some of those so we might start to get a sense of what will be sold, and so we might understand what might not be sold.
What is Utah Soccer Holdings?
That’s a great question. As near as I can tell, it’s not a registered entity in Utah — so I am guessing it’s a term used by Hansen and MLS commissioner Don Garber to refer to Hansen’s various business entities around Real Salt Lake, Utah Royals FC, and Real Monarchs.
Let’s take a look at some of those.
Who owns Rio Tinto Stadium?
First up is Utah Soccer, LLC — that’s the company the more or less runs the three teams. Utah Soccer, LLC owns the land Rio Tinto Stadium is on, as well as the stadium itself. It’s worth something like $60 to $80 million, altogether. Hansen owns parcels at the same address under Sandy Redevelopment Company, LLC, which is likely part of his long-term plan to build new commercial properties around Rio Tinto Stadium.
It is hard to say if those plans will now change, but it is inconsequential at this very moment. However, to the city of Sandy, it might be a different sort of question. Anyway, I’ll be curious about this in the long-term.
Who owns the RSL Training Academy?
That would be RSL Training Academy, LLC, and the high school is owned by Real Salt Lake Academy High School.
One of the trickiest parts of this will be that Hansen-owned companies have two other parcels around the stadium: Soleil Apartment Holdings, on which land an apartment complex exists, and Academy Village Land Holdings, LLC. I cannot imagine those would be part of the sale here — it wouldn’t make sense for Hansen, it wouldn’t make sense for Real Salt Lake, and it likely wouldn’t make sense for the new owners. It is a reminder that much of what Hansen did with Real Salt Lake’s growth was centered around other opportunities that are core to his wealth — new apartment complexes are his game.
While I readily imagine that the training academy will go, it does make me wonder what happens with the high school. Will a new owner be interested in owning a high school? (Honestly, I think a high school is a strange thing to own, but I am also not a billionaire.)
Update: It appears the high school is part of the intended sale.
Just got word: The sale would include the high school, stadium and the training facility.— Alex Vejar (@AlexVReporting) August 30, 2020
Another question: What about RSL Basketball Academy and RSL Basketball Management? The arrival of basketball to the academy setup was a strange one, but I do think that certain potential owners might be very much on board with the idea. It’ll be one to watch, at least.
Who owns America First Field?
It’s actually owned by America First Credit Union, which was not something I knew before this. I don’t imagine anything changes there, especially as part of this sale. This is more just an interesting point, really.
What about ESPN 700?
Well, ESPN 700 is under the auspices of Broadway Media, and while it was originally owned by the club, it’s now part of that company, according to the FCC’s filing reports. It is difficult at present to see Hansen selling Broadway Media, as it’s a big part of his advertisement platform, but this is likely very dependent on the ownership group coming in.
There will likely not be a strong desire to hold up team ownership on the basis of a group of radio stations — so if there is a deal here, expect it to happen separately from Utah Soccer, LLC and its related companies.
Any other companies we should know about?
Honestly, Dell Loy Hansen, as a billionaire, has more companies than you can count. It will be interesting to see what happens, but there are several LLCs that may be of some interest. Here are but a few of those:
- Utah Soccer Stadium Owner, LLC
- RSL Employee Retention Fund, LLC
- RSL Media, LLC
- RSL Merchandising, LLC
- Utah Royals FC, LLC
- Real Salt Lake Foundation, Inc.
- RSL Youth Academy Foundation, Inc.
That’s just scratching the surface.