The news we’ve all been awaiting has finally — finally — come to fruition. Real Salt Lake has officially been sold to David Blitzer and Ryan Smith, according to a press release from Major League Soccer.
Blitzer and Smith are joined by Arctos Sports Partners, a venture capital investment firm.
Smith’s involvement comes through Smith Entertainment Group, through which he is majority owner of the Utah Jazz.
Blitzer will serve as the club’s governor, while Smith will serve as the club’s alternative governor, according to the release.
From the MLS press release, commissioner Don Garber:
“The combination of David Blitzer and Ryan Smith’s SEG form a dream partnership for Real Salt Lake,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “David and Ryan’s teams have become synonymous with how athletics and community intersect, as they have demonstrated leading world-class organizations outside of professional soccer. Both understand the tremendous value that sports teams bring to a community, and they are deeply committed to Utah. This is a proven ownership group that brings resources and experience to elevate every aspect of the RSL organization.”
“My family and I are thrilled to partner with Ryan Smith and his SEG team on the acquisition of Real Salt Lake,” David Blitzer said. “Ryan’s track record with Qualtrics as a technology innovator and leader in the state of Utah made his SEG group the ideal partner. Together, we look forward to leveraging our experiences to take Real Salt Lake to even greater heights.
“Real Salt Lake is a world-class club with an amazing fanbase, strong infrastructure and a longstanding commitment to the Utah community. We will work to build upon the legacy and tradition of Real Salt Lake by investing not only in the team and its facilities, but also in the communities our team serves. We have the opportunity to use Real Salt Lake’s unique platform to drive positive change on the pitch, in the local community and across Utah. We are excited and honored to be a part of what the future holds.”
“My wife Ashley and I are 100% committed to the State of Utah. As my partners and I looked to expand SEG, it was clear that Real Salt Lake is an amazing asset for Utah, exemplifies the way we want to invest and be involved here, and David Blitzer is the perfect partner,” said Ryan Smith. “David has world-class soccer experience, is a person of integrity, and has a strong commitment to elevate the organizations and communities he is invested in. There is an incredible soccer community here in Utah from youth and outreach programs to the passionate RSL supporters and fans. We look forward to continuing to work with the region and state to do big things with professional sports.”