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Questions for Checketts

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26 2007 10:29 a.m. MDT

Checketts: It was a bruising battle for a lot of reasons. It would've been a lot easier if it could've been privately financed. This is a polarized political state. There's a mayor in Salt Lake City who's a lightning rod for a lot of things. He was supportive. What the mayor of Salt Lake County did to us was extraordinary. He basically told me every week for six months that this was going to get done, and then Monday in January out of the blue he called me and told me it wasn't going to get done. When I asked him what do I have to do to get it done, and he told me, and then I offered that up, he said it still wouldn't get done.

It was at that point that a light turned on in my head and said I'm in the middle of a political battle. This is really not about soccer, and it's not even about economics, it's about politics. It's about who likes Greg Curtis or Rocky Anderson or Peter Corroon. It's about all their political careers. It's about will the governor step in and take this over, and why would he wait until then to do something. He wanted other people to take care of it. It was never about me.

I just became a symbol of a battle about public vs. private funding. I have a pretty thick skin that way. I know that what we're going to build here is going to stimulate the economy, create jobs, enhance the real estate value in that area. It's going to be something the citizens of Utah are very proud of, and it's going to be something they do not pay for. It's going to come out of tourist dollars that can only be used for things like this. It can't be used for roads, schools and all of the things people think we're taking money from. It was portrayed unfairly, and it was interpreted in a way that was unfair and untrue. But it's going forward and it's all behind us.

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