SANDY — The Real Salt Lake Stadium may be too controversial a site for East Jordan school district's kickoff party, say some East Jordan School Board members.

The district is planning an event in October to announce its new name and logo, as well as celebrate its existence.

It's a time to "unite as one school family on the east side," said board member Paul McCarty, head of the district's name and logo committee.

However, some board members believe the Real stadium site is a bad idea since some people don't support the stadium, and that could deter people from attending the district event.

Other board members are suggesting a neutral site such as an east-side high school chosen through a drawing.

The superintendent says perhaps a local community venue, such as the South Towne Exposition Center or the Sandy Amphitheater, could be an option.

After hefty discussions Tuesday night, board members agreed to send the board's naming committee back to gather more details. The committee plans to report to the board next week its findings on sites, as well as date and monetary details, including grants and donations.

McCarty said the Real stadium idea came out of discussions with Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. There are four community event days available that would be free or at a minimal cost.

McCarty warned the board it may miss its chance to have the event at the Real stadium if it waits too long to decide.

Board member Sherril Taylor cautioned the board that the Real stadium was — and still is — an upsetting issue for many people.

"Why bring the controversy when we are trying to get such an important thing done on such an important night," Taylor said. "Why even go there ... when some of our patrons may choose not to be involved because of the perception they may have."

Board member Kevin Cromar said people were upset about TRAX light rail when it first came, and they got over it. Cromar said he feels having it at a high school will downplay the event. Further, he asked, board members are striving to collaborate with the cities — so why not choose the Real stadium?

Board member Mont Millerberg suggested getting a preliminary head count for the event before booking a site. "I would hate to show up at the Real stadium with 100 people," he said.

Trey Fitz-Gerald, director of public relations for Real Salt Lake, said the organization is working on scheduling many non-soccer events at the stadium, including high school graduations, school sporting events and concerts. "We believe the stadium is a great place for all types of community events," Fitz-Gerald said.

Trina Duerksen, communications manager for Sandy, said Dolan would like to see that type of use for the stadium. "To say people wouldn't come to an event is just not true," Duerksen said.

Name suggestions for East Jordan district can be submitted online at www.nameourdistrict.com until 5 p.m. Sept. 12. People can then visit the Web site to vote on their top eight favorite names. Voting ends at 5 p.m. Sept. 26 and is restricted to one vote per person.

The school board will then choose a name from the list of eight. The winner will receive prizes at the celebration event.

As of Wednesday, there have been about 100 name submissions, McCarty said.

In November, east-side residents voted to split from the Jordan District and form their own school district.


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