Real Salt Lake notes: Team to introduce new co-owner

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 18 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

SCP Worldwide Chairman David Checketts will officially introduce Dell Loy Hansen as 49 percent owner of Real Salt Lake at a press conference today at Rio Tinto Stadium.

News of the partial sale broke last week, but the deal couldn't be finalized until final approval from the league as well as lenders. Those details have now been finalized, and Checketts will make the announcement official just four days before Real Salt Lake takes on the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup in Seattle.

Hansen is president of Wasatch Property Management Inc., a company with a real estate portfolio valued at about $1.2 billion.

Hansen has been a noticeable presence at Real Salt Lake playoff games in the past two weeks. He was in Columbus for the team's series-clinching win over the defending champion Crew and he was also in Chicago last weekend for the shootout victory over the Fire.

Checketts, who lives in Connecticut, is excited to have a local owner involved with Real Salt Lake.

SUPPORTERS WANTED: Real Salt Lake is doing everything it can to increase the number of supporters it has at Qwest Field this Sunday, including a plea from general manager Garth Lagerwey.

"This year, we've been fortunate enough to make it one step further, all the way to MLS Cup, and we invite, encourage and hope our fans will join us to finish our journey to Seattle, and come with us and support us in Seattle. Because we need it," said Lagerwey. "To those fans who can't make it, I hope you'll be watching on ESPN."

Real Salt Lake has worked out a deal with JetBlue to charter a flight on its RealBlue airplane to Seattle on Saturday. The flight will return to Salt Lake City on Monday. The cost is $325, which includes a ticket to the match, and is available exclusively to RSL season ticket holders. Interested fans should contact 801-727-2702.

RSL supporters groups have also arranged for two charter buses to Seattle leaving on Saturday morning and returning late Sunday night. The cost is $120 per person and includes a ticket. Interested fans should contact 801-727-2727 for information.

Neither package includes hotel accommodations.

RELISHING UNDERDOG ROLES: During a media luncheon at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday, Lagerwey spoke candidly about the lack of respect the club is getting during the playoffs.

"We have been written off by pundits national and local, both when we tried to make the playoffs and then in the first round against Columbus, then again against Chicago," he said. "And everything I've read indicates the same sentiment prevails for the final. It's been kind of fun proving these folks wrong week after week, and I think we have another week in us."

Don't count the L.A. Galaxy among those doubting RSL, especially after finishing with an 0-1-1 record against the club this year.

"I don't think any of us focus on any of that stuff, the underdog, the Cinderella team. We know all the teams in this league are good teams, and very little separates one from the other," said L.A. coach Bruce Arena.

"In Salt Lake, we're playing a very good team. I know that, I've followed them very closely over the last couple of years and I've actually had a pretty good relationship with their staff and I have the greatest respect for their coaches and general management team. I think it will be one heck of a game," said Arena.

SEATTLE HEADQUARTERS: RSL has arranged for FX McRory's near Qwest Field in Seattle to be its official party headquarters on Saturday, beginning at 7 p.m.

A team spokesperson said the bar can accommodate 250 Real Salt Lake fans for the pre-game party, and families and children are welcome.

e-mail: jedward@desnews.com

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