SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake General Manager Steve Pastorino, in cooperation with the University of Utah, have met several times during the past five days to enhance fans' stadium experience. The meetings are a result of less-than-satisfactory service in the areas of tickets and concession at the team's home opener on April 16, 2005. RSL won the game 1-0 victory in front of a Rice-Eccles Stadium crowd of 25,287 fans.
"We were acutely aware that ticket sales and will call lines were unacceptable as kickoff neared on Saturday," said Pastorino. "After meeting with stadium officials, we have addressed Saturday's situations and both sides are proactively implementing solutions to create a more positive experience for our fans. We are taking steps to remedy any and all issues that have been brought to our attention for all future games."
Beginning this Saturday, the stadium will open additional ticket windows, add ticket sellers, put more ticket printers and credit card machines on-line and open up additional will call windows to provide quicker, more convenient service to fans.
In addition, RSL officials acknowledge that lines and service were unacceptably poor for food concessions, an area managed by the University of Utah Athletic Department. As part of the remedy, vendors will add extra points of sale for food and drink, which will in turn reduce wait times for customers. Concessions will be provided throughout the concourse at the stadium, with "hawkers" now available to fans throughout the main areas of stadium seating areas.
"The concessions are fairly priced, feature a broad variety of choices and are are of high quality - now the university just needs to make the products more easily accessible for the fans," said Pastorino.
Finally, Jeff Vernier and Centennial Management Group, which handles RSL merchandising, met the demands of fans with record-setting volume. RSL's red, blue and gold merchandise was snapped up at volume not seen in this city since the Utah Jazz were in the NBA Finals.
RSL ON KSL EARNS YET ANOTHER HIGH RATING/SHARE: Real Salt Lake's third broadcast on KSL 5 TV earned an extraordinary 2.4 rating and 12 share across the Utah DMA, peaking at a 3.8, despite the 0-3 loss at Dallas being brought back to Utah on a five-hour tape delay. The "RSL on KSL" relationship kicked off on April 2 with a 3.0 rating and 6 share on April 2 with competition from the NCAA basketball tournament and the LDS Conference. RSL's 3.2 overnight during week two at Los Angeles peaked at 4.7 with an 8 share in the second half. KSL will air three more RSL road games during the inaugural season, including July 16 at Kansas City, October 1 at Colorado and October 8 at San Jose.
JUNE 4 QUALIFIER TICKET SALES SURPASS 20,000: Ticket sales for the RSL - U.S. Men's National Team doubleheader on June 4 at Rice-Eccles Stadium have surpassed the 20,000 mark after going on sale to the general public only nine days ago. Tickets ranging in price levels from $25 to $68 are on sale through ussoccer.com, by phone at (801) 581-UTIX, on-line at www.utahtickets.com and at the University of Utah Ticket Office. Ticket prices are $25 for north and south goals, $36 corner flag, $48 off-mid and $68 mid. Groups of 20 or more can call the Real Salt Lake Ticket Office at (866) 9-SOCCER. Real Salt Lake season tickets will be honored for the doubleheader, and groups of 20 or more can call RSL at 866-9-SOCCER for special pricing.
The U.S. vs. Costa Rica match, the fourth of 10 final round qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, kicks off at 5:30 p.m. MT and will be televised live on ESPN2. Following the match between the 2002 World Cup participants, Real Salt Lake hosts FC Dallas in the second game of the doubleheader at 8 p.m. The match in Salt Lake City is the second of five qualifiers in this round to be played in the United States.
RSL SOLICITING LOCATIONS FOR PERMANENT GRASS FIELD: Real Salt Lake General Manager Steve Pastorino is requesting ideas from the community-at-large regarding usage of the grass field being installed at Rice-Eccles Stadium for the June 4 World Cup Qualifier.
"The Utah Sports Commission has assisted Real Salt Lake in bringing a world-class grass surface for the June 4 U.S. World Cup Qualifier at Rice-Eccles Stadium," Pastorino said. "We want to relocate this field following the game to create a grass training surface for the team."
"This region faces a shortage of competition-quality grass fields, so we are officially soliciting ideas from private and public entities in the Salt Lake valley for a permanent home for this grass field."
RSL will consider offers from the community for a permanent grass field practice site, with the team needing 3 -5 acres of land with space to build or access to some sort of private dressing area. The team seeks priority to practice on the field through the end of the 2006 season, but is open to sharing the field with a partner, as long as requirements for a competition-quality game field are first and foremost among usage considerations.
"We are prepared to auction off the field on eBay if we can't find a home for it," said Pastorino. "But I have to believe there is a centrally-located landowner who could utilize a world-class grass field - a person or entity who would be proud to be the grass practice home for Real Salt Lake."
Nine of the 11 stadiums in Major League Soccer utilize grass surfaces - with Rice-Eccles and New Jersey's Giants Stadium being the exceptions - underlining the importance of the installation of a permanent grass practice home for RSL.
TRAINING SCHEDULE FOR WEEK OF APRIL 25, 2005:
**All practices are open to Media members. All times and locations are subject to change.
DAY/DATE SITE TIME (MT) Wednesday, April 27 RSL reserves vs. BYU @ South Field 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28 Rice-Eccles Stadium 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 29 Rice-Eccles Stadium 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 30 "Carnival Real" opens 6:00 p.m. GAME vs. San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m.
SEASON TICKETS STILL SELLING BRISKLY: Real Salt Lake season ticket packages, now pro-rated following the opener, remain on sale. The RSL 2005 season ticket package now features 20 games, including the remaining 15 MLS regular season games, four special bonus games and the highly-anticipated U.S.-Costa Rica World Cup Qualifier on June 4. 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.
GET YOUR FLEX ON WITH NEW SEASON TICKET OPTION: To add more options for fans, RSL is now offering the Flex Season Ticket Package, which is comprised of twenty vouchers of the same price category (North Goal, Corner Flag, Premium and VIP) that allows the purchaser to determine which games they would like to see in the regular reason and how many tickets needed for that game. Prices for the 2005 Flex Package are $260 for the North Goal, $320 for the Corner Flag, $440 for the East Sideline and $560 for the VIP seats. Tickets can be redeemed in the following way: one could use all the vouchers and bring 20 people to one game or 4 people could attend five games. Flex vouchers are discounted from the day of game pricing making it an even greater value. Vouchers can be redeemed in advance through the Real Salt Lake Front Office by mail or in person or on the day of the game at the Real Salt Lake Customer Service Window. Seating is best available per price category at the time of redemption. The June 4th US-Costa Rica and RSL-FC Dallas doubleheader is not included in the flex package.
SINGLE-GAME TICKETS ON SALE: Real Salt Lake single-game tickets for its inaugural 2005 season at Rice-Eccles Stadium continue to be 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. Individual game 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. Fans are continued to be encouraged to purchase in advance.
ACCESS REAL: Real fans can now receive up-to-date information on the team by signing up for the RSL Weekly Newsletter at the fans section of RealSaltLake.com.
MLS CAMPS: MLS Camps, the Official Camp and Clinic of Major League Soccer, has partnered with Real Salt Lake to provide Packaged Camps, Clinic & Training Services and Supply Opportunities to the Greater Utah Community. To host a Program in your community, call (800) 680-6272 or by logging onto www.MLScamps.com and register for a program near you.