SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake and FSN Rocky Mountain announced today that the regional cable power will air at least seven of the team's inaugural season broadcasts in 2005, beginning with a live 8:00 p.m. MT telecast of Real Salt Lake's May 7 visit to The Home Depot Center. That game in Los Angeles against CD Chivas USA represents the first of four games this year between the two MLS expansion teams. FSN Rocky Mountain returns for the same matchup on Saturday, July 9.
"This partnership between FSN Rocky Mountain and Real Salt Lake continues to demonstrate Fox's commitment to our League and our sport," said RSL General Manager Steve Pastorino. "We consider ourselves a team for the entire InterMountain region, and FSN Rocky Mountain will bring our brand, our vision and our players to fans around the region to those in our own backyard."
The FSN Rocky Mountain schedule of Real Salt Lake action is highlighted by the inclusion of the RSL versus FC Dallas contest on June 4 at 8:00 p.m. MT from Rice-Eccles Stadium. The only home game to be televised locally in 2005, that match is the second half of a doubleheader that also includes the World Cup Qualifier between the United States and Costa Rica, a game which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. MT.
Today's announcement, made as Real Salt Lake and FSN Rocky Mountain explore the addition of other RSL road games to the broadcast schedule, supplements the five-game, over-the-air package announced earlier this week for Salt Lake's KSL 5 TV. The complete local Real Salt Lake television broadcast schedule for 2005 follows:
|Date||Matchup||Broadcast time (MT)||TV info|
|Saturday, April 2||at MetroStars||7 p.m.||KSL (6:30 pregame)|
|Saturday, April 9||at Los Angeles Galaxy||8 p.m.||KSL|
|Saturday, May 7||at Chivas USA||8 p.m.||FSN|
|Saturday, May 21||at Columbus Crew||5:30 p.m.||FSN|
|Saturday, June 4||vs. FC Dallas||8 p.m.||FSN|
|Saturday, June 18||at San Jose Earthquakes||8 p.m.||FSN|
|Sunday, June 26||at Chicago Fire||5 p.m.||FSN|
|Saturday, July 9||at Chivas USA||8:30 p.m.||FSN|
|Saturday, July 16||at Kansas City Wizards||6:30 p.m.||KSL|
|Wednesday, August 10||at New England Revolution||5:30 p.m.||FSN|
|Saturday, October 1||at Colorado Rapids||7 p.m.||KSL|
|Saturday, October 8||at San Jose Earthquakes||8 p.m.||KSL|
"We're excited to offer sports fans in Salt Lake City and the Rocky Mountain region the opportunity to experience the fast-paced action and exciting play of MLS soccer with our extensive coverage of Real Salt Lake's inaugural season," says Tim Griggs, vice president and general manager of FSN Rocky Mountain. "We believe that Real Salt Lake and the Checketts family are building a truly special organization, and we look forward to being part of the RSL family."
Calling the action in the Real Salt Lake television booth will be Utah sports radio personality Bill Riley, who will handle play-by-play duties, and veteran MLS and World Cup color analyst David Dir, currently an assistant coach on the United States U-20 National Team.
Riley has spent his 12 years in the broadcasting industry working in both radio and television and most recently was the market's highest-rated drive time sports talk show host for the last three-plus years in Salt Lake City. In addition, Riley has hosted various basketball and football coaches shows at programs like Wichita State, Jacksonville University and Brigham Young University.
A lifelong soccer fan and high school colleague of Sports Illustrated soccer writer Grant Wahl, Riley was sports director and morning drive host in Jacksonville, Florida, for the Jacksonville Jaguars Flagship Radio Station. Riley hosted pre-game, halftime and post-game shows for The Flagship, as well as a weekly talk show with Jaguars Pro-Bowl Quarterback Mark Brunell. Riley's program "The Drive" was the market's highest rated sports program. While in Jacksonville, Riley was a television anchor and reporter for ABC 25, the city's ABC Affiliate.
Current U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Assistant Coach Dir is best known for his five seasons at the helm of the Dallas Burn, where he guided the Burn to the 1997 Open Cup championship and was a two-time MLS Coach of the Year finalist. Dir held the longest tenure of the ten original MLS coaches, staying with the Burn from their inaugural season in 1996 until 2000, guiding Dallas to the playoffs each year. When his reign with the Burn ended, Dir had recorded the most wins in MLS history with 81.
Since his professional coaching days with the Burn, Dir has spent the last four years serving as an ABC, ESPN2 color analyst for World Cup, U.S. Men's National Team and Major League Soccer broadcasts. The popular commentator is often referred to as "Madden-esque," because of his colorful delivery and exuberance on the air, but is most importantly considered one of the most credible and trustworthy sources of soccer analysis and information by players, coaches and executives across the American soccer scene.
Prior to joining the Burn in November 1995, Dir spent nearly two years as Major League Soccer's Director of Player Development. In that capacity he was responsible for all scouting, player identification and player assessment in preparation for the formation of the league and from the league's first player draft.
Dir spent two seasons with the Colorado Foxes of the APSL in 1992 and 1993, where he led the Foxes to consecutive APSL championships and a Pro Cup tournament championship in 1992. Under Dir the Foxes posted a 32-14 record over two seasons. Dir's coaching career began in 1984 at Trinity Prep Lutheran in Orlando, Fla., and includes a very successful stop at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. His team won back-to-back conference titles there in 1990 and 1991, earning Dir conference coach of the year honors in 1991.
FSN Rocky Mountain provides local and national sports programming to more than 2.8 million cable and satellite subscribers in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, most of Montana, western Nebraska western Kansas, southern Idaho and northeastern Nevada. The Denver-based regional sports network owns regional telecast rights to Real Salt Lake, Utah Jazz, Colorado Rockies, Denver Broncos, Colorado Crush, University of Colorado, Colorado State University and University of Denver, as well as rights to Big 12 Conference football and women's basketball, Pac-10 football and basketball and ACC basketball.
KIRKLAND'S CORNER MOVES EAST FOR HISTORIC OPENER: KSL 5 sports anchor Tom Kirkland, the host of SportsBeat Sunday, a one-hour show hosted by the former CNN anchor, will join Riley and Dir at Giants Stadium on Saturday to bring the historic Real Salt Lake inaugural game back to Utah. Kirkland will bring up-to-the-second news and information from the RSL sideline during the contest.
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS NOW ON SALE: Real Salt Lake single-game tickets for its inaugural 2005 season at Rice-Eccles Stadium are now on sale both online and at the University of Utah Ticket Office, located at the Stadium's south end. Individual game prices are $14 for north goal, $18 for corner flag, $25 for premier east and $32 for VIP west. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Utah Ticket Office at 451 South 1400 East, by logging onto www.utahtickets.com or by contacting the Ticket Office at (801) 581-UTIX.
Season ticket packages for RSL's inaugural 2005 season at Rice-Eccles Stadium are now on sale. The RSL 2005 season ticket package features 21 games, including all 16 MLS regular season games, four special bonus games and the highly-anticipated U.S.-Costa Rica World Cup Qualifier on June 4. Real Salt Lake's season ticket pricing consist of Youth (15 and younger) and Adult in four price levels. Prices for the 2005 season ticket packages are $200 adult ($180 youth) for the North Goal, $300 adult ($240 youth) for the Corner Flag, $400 ($320 youth) for East Sideline and $500 ($400 youth) for VIP seats. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the RSL Ticket Office at 515 South 700 East, #2R, SLC, UT 84102, by logging onto www.RealSaltLake.com or by contacting the Real Salt Lake Ticket Office at (866) 9-SOCCER.
ACCESS REAL: Real fans can now receive up-to-date information on the team by signing up for the RSL Weekly Newsletter at at the fans section of RealSaltLake.com.