Poll shows broad support for Real Salt Lake

The team has never played a game. The roster of players isn't even half-full yet. The team's management has yet to launch a full-fledged marketing program to encourage ticket sales for games starting in April. Yet a new poll undertaken by Survey USA shows a broad base of support for the new Major League Soccer team.

The poll of 500 Salt Lake County residents was conducted December 8-10 with a margin of error of +/- 4.5%. Survey results show 55% of respondents being aware of the new team's presence and 43% said they were "very" or "somewhat" likely to attend a game this summer. Forty-three percent of Salt Lake County's population equates to more than 386,000 people within Salt Lake County alone.* Of the respondents who indicated they would attend a game, many said they would cheer at multiple games, and 39% said they would bring three or more other people with them to the events.

Regarding the topic of a stadium to be the home of the new MLS team, only 37% said they were aware of discussions about the need for a soccer-friendly stadium. However, 47% felt a new stadium would be positive for Salt Lake County's economy, while 28% said it would have no impact and 17% said it might hurt the economy.

Some 31% of County residents said they would support a publicly-funded stadium for the team, which is the model used in many other communities across the United States in building sports facilities. However, 49% said they would be more likely to support some public funding if they knew the team would be contributing at least half of the stadium's construction costs. (Real Salt Lake's current proposal calls for the team to pay for approximately half of the $60-65 million construction cost for the stadium.)

When asked about a preferred location for the stadium, many respondents had no preference, but 36% favored a Murray stadium, 21% favored a west-side stadium, and 14% favored a downtown stadium.

*Using 2000 Census Data, which many consider to undercount minority residents.

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