Dave Checketts sells controlling interest in Real Salt Lake to local businessman Dell Loy Hansen

Published: Thursday, Jan. 24 2013 2:30 p.m. MST

Fundador de Real Salt Lake Dave Checketts dice adios al equipo que cre— despuˇs de anunciar que habia vendido su parte a codue–o Dell Loy Hansen, izq., durante una rueda de prensa en el estadio Rio Tinto en Sandy el jueves, 24 de enero, 2013. Real Salt Lake founder Dave Checketts says good bye to the organization he created after announcing that he had sold his shares to part owner Dell Loy Hansen, left, during a press conference at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

Real Salt Lake announced Thursday that owner Dave Checketts and his sports company, SCP Worldwide, has sold his controlling interest in Utah's MLS franchise to local businessman and part-owner Dell Loy Hansen.

Hansen is the president of Wasatch Property Management. He purchased an interest in Real Salt Lake in 2009 shortly before the club won its first and only MLS Cup championship. Hansen said he purchased an interest in the club during a time when the club was in a tenuous financial position.

Related: Hansen couldn't resist Real Salt Lake -- and cacciatore

This season, Real Salt Lake has nearly 10 thousand season ticket holders and one of the best local television packages in Major League Soccer.

"I've always referred to Real as the Green Bay Packers of soccer," Hansen said. "Dave (Checketts) and I were aware that his vision [for the club] was ahead of its time."

Since Real won its 2009 championship, it has more consecutive playoff appearances (5) than any other Major League Soccer club.

Hansen praised Checketts for Real Salt Lake's accomplishments during his ownership and gave some credit to Utah's professional sports teams for the economic growth of the State of Utah in his remarks.

"When you take this small market, the little David that could, and you go up and down the West Coast and beat those franchises, that goes in the local paper," Hansen said. "With the governor making Utah the most business-friendly state in America, I guarantee you RSL has a part in that [economic success]. I guarantee you the Jazz have a part in that."

Fans of the club and of Major League Soccer were quick to opine via social media on the change in Real Salt Lake's ownership. Though some expressed concern about the change, reaction seemed to be generally positive and grateful to Checketts and his contribution to the club.

Landon Hemsley is the sports content manager for DeseretNews.com. Email: lhemsley@deseretnews.com. Twitter: @EarlOfHemsley

Read more about the sale of RSL on RealSaltLake.com.

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