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RSL launch Real Monarchs, latest MLS-backed USL Pro team

Real Monarchs logo


Real Salt Lake’s foray into USL Pro finally has a name attached to it: the Real Monarchs.

RSL executives unveiled the Monarchs name and crest Wednesday at a presentation including new renderings of the proposed 8,000-seat facility to be added at the Utah state fair grounds. The team is set to begin play next year as RSL’s reserve team.

The construction of a new facility was approved last week by the fair grounds board, but the final project will need further approval. RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen said the stadium would cost as much as $18 million and be paid for by RSL.

The deal with the property owners would be for a 50-year ground lease with two 10-year options costing $10,000 annually, according to reports out of Salt Lake City.

As a slew of Major League Soccer clubs look to take advantage of USL Pro’s rapid expansion, RSL is only the latest to expand to the second-tier league. At least six other MLS clubs have joined or are interested.

The Los Angeles Galaxy joined USL Pro this year with the Galaxy II and the Montreal Impact will also join in 2015 with FC Montréal. The Vancouver Whitecaps say plans are on track to field their own yet-unnamed team in 2015 too, but they are still figuring out where the team will play.

The Seattle Sounders, Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas have all expressed interest in forming their own USL Pro reserve teams, but likely not until the 2016 season. USL Pro’s deadline to opt in for next year is Sept. 15.

Under an agreement signed between MLS and USL Pro in 2013, MLS clubs can choose to  field a reserve team in USL Pro or partner with an existing franchise by 2015 as a way to bolster player development in both leagues and create a structured reserve system.


What do you think of the name and crest? Do you think it’s good for MLS to have more clubs add USL Pro teams?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. This stadium is located right on the light rail system in SLC, and will be easy to get to with ample parking. It is right smack in the middle of the highest concentration of minorities in SL valley, which I believe they are trying to target. The ticket prices are going to be very reasonable for people with less income, and I am planning on grabbing season tickets as soon as I can.

    I love the name. I would not be surprised to RSL Monarchs in the future.

  2. Serious question. How far away are the two stadiums? I don’t like the idea of having the USL team in the same city. Isn’t there any other city they can go to in Utah or elsewhere in the US?

    • The new stadium will actually be in Salt Lake City proper whereas Rio Tinto is in Sandy, about 15-20 minutes south. I share the same concerns, but Hansen is a pretty sharp guy so I assume the model is well developed.

      • That 8000 seat stadium will cost 18 Mil up front with a 50 year lease that will turn into the future home of the RSL 1st team in a 24K seat stadium in Downtown SLC. Mark my word. Smooth move Hansen.

      • I like the idea of stratagem, but I don’t understand how this would benefit RSL. They currently play in a 20k-capacity stadium that is regularly at/near sold out. Would a 24k-capacity stadium really be an upgrade? And would playing in downtown SLC really increase or improve their fan base? I’m not sure….

      • The proposed USL stadium will not become the future home of the first team, far from the truth. The proposed stadium is downtown to make way for concerts, etc., which were formally hosted at Rio Tinto stadium. The location of the new stadium isn’t bad, but Rio Tinto’s current location is better (i.e. more accessible to a large and growing fan base).

      • I thought one could argue that a downtown location would be closer for fans from Ogden-Bountiful, instead of the current location in Sandy that favors Utah Valley residents. Also, there are more mass transit options directly hitting downtown than there are to Sandy (especially relevant since Utah opted to follow Seattle’s example and build a potpourri of semi-connected mass transit).

        I still don’t think those are big enough selling points to warrant a move, but thought maybe that is what one might argue.

    • That’s the compromise. Everyone makes mistakes, so RSL decided that their mistake would be in naming.

      This name is quite silly though. “Real Salt Lake” I just kinda shrugged about, but “Real Monarchs” is repetitive: there is no such thing as a non-royal monarch.

    • I assume/hope the name “Monarch” refers to the royalty definition, and not the member of the Nymphalidae family of butterflies. Seems like they could have done better with that name, as most people will probably envision the ubiquitous orange and black flying moth we see all summer.
      Or maybe the owner meant to name them after butterflies…


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