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Checketts sells stake in MLS club Real Salt Lake

28 January 2013 | Posted in Sports Properties, Soccer, North America, | By David Cushnan

Utah real estate developer Dell Loy Hansen has become the sole owner of Major League Soccer club Real Salt Lake.

Hansen, a 49 per cent shareholder in the club since 2009, has acquired the stake owned by founder Dave Checketts. Hansen is now in full control of the club and its sister properties, Rio Tinto Stadium and the ESPN700 Talk Radio station.

“Just over three years ago, I was very proud to join Dave Checketts in the world of Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer,” said Hansen.  “Today, the chance to further deepen my participation in the growth of professional soccer in North America is incredibly exciting.

"My enthusiasm for this sport started long ago with my family, and now I am proud that our investment now includes the entire Real Salt Lake family – starting with our incredible fan base – as we work together representing the great state of Utah.”

Checketts, who created the team in 2004 and last year became chairman of Legends Hospitality Management, said: “When we started I made a promise to build something of meaning; something that people in my home state of Utah could be proud of.”

He added: “Real Salt Lake has become much more than a soccer team, and Rio Tinto Stadium much more than a venue. Each has become integrally woven into the fabric of this community and become beloved assets to the people here.

"It is a legacy that I will forever take pride in, and I am happy to leave it in local hands. I know that Dell Loy will be a tremendous caretaker for the team, the stadium and all that both represent.”

The deal, financial details of which have not been revealed, has been ratified by Major League Soccer.

League commissioner Don Garber said of Checketts: “Dave was the first new expansion owner to commit to the league in 2004 and he worked tirelessly to establish Real Salt Lake as a legitimate and successful regional sports brand and to secure the funding for the construction of Rio Tinto Stadium."

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