Got your tickets to the RSL match? Before donning your claret and cobalt to join The Riot, here’s a quick look at everything you need to know about Real Salt Lake and their home field. For a hassle-free game day experience, don’t miss our tips on how to reach Rio Tinto Stadium and find cheap parking in Sandy.
Major League Soccer gained its 12th member when Real Salt Lake (RSL) was founded in 2004. Nicknamed ‘Claret and Cobalt’ after their official colors, the club began playing in the league’s Western Conference in 2005.
RSL in MLS
Real Salt Lake’s first home match was held at Rice-Eccles Stadium, with 25,287 fans watching from the stands. Initially, the club’s MLS journey was quite uneventful. However, RSL’s home field advantage improved once their new stadium opened in 2008. Rio Tinto Stadium has since set the stage for several exciting RSL matches, with the supporters’ section swelling year after year.
RSL lifted the MLS Cup in 2009 and followed it up with runners-up finish in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League – the furthest any American club has reached. Then, in 2013, they made it to the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup finals, finishing as runners-up in both contests. After that, the club didn’t make any significant progress in the next six seasons.
In 2020, despite a shortened season, Real Salt Lake underwent major changes. The club’s minority owner Dell Loy Hansen was embroiled in controversy and eventually sold his stake. The new era began in 2021 with Pablo Mastroeni as interim coach, following Freddy Juarez’s departure to Sounders. Mastroeni successfully led the team to the conference finals and was made permanent head coach after the season.
Check out the latest Real Salt Lake schedule, roaster, and standings here.
New fan? Here’s everything you need to know about your team.
Who is the new owner of Real Salt Lake?
After the Hansen controversy, the club is now in the hands of David Blitzer and Ryan Smith. Venture capital firm Arctos Sports Partners is also reported to have ownership. Blitzer and Smith are co-governors of the club.
Blitzer has a stake in several professional sports teams such as New Jersey Devils (NFL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Cleveland Guardians (MLB), and Crystal Palace F.C. (EPL). He is also a minority owner of the Triple-A International League. Smith, co-founder, and chairman of experience management company Qualtrics, is involved with RSL through Smith Entertainment Group (SEG). He also has a stake in Utah Jazz (NBA).
What is the Real Salt Lake Academy?
The RSL Academy is a “soccer-specific developmental facility” in Herriman, Utah. The training center has a 210K square feet artificial playing surface and five natural-grass fields. The RSL Academy High School and live-in dormitory are also on-site.
Apart from Real Salt Lake, USL’s Real Monarchs and three age-group extensions of RSL’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy train here. The Zions Bank Stadium provides a full-size field within the facility and seats up to 5,000.
Where does RSL play home games?
RSL has played their home game at the Rio Tinto Stadium (The RioT) since 2008. It is a soccer-specific facility owned and operated by Real Salt Lake. Apart from RSL’s home matches during the MLS regular season, the stadium also hosts Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches and international friendlies.
The RioT is located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Sandy – a Salt Lake City suburb. It has an official capacity of 20,213 for soccer but is expandable to 25k for concerts.
Real Salt Lake initially played its home games at the Rice-Eccles Stadium, on the University of Utah campus, from 2005 to 2008.
Who are Real Salt Lake’s rivals in MLS?
Geographical proximity pits Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake against each other in the league. The two teams compete for the annual Rocky Mountain Cup; RSL currently holds the cup.
Real Salt Lake’s rivalry with Sporting Kansas City was kicked off by a preseason brawl in 2011 and developed after they met in MLS Cup 2013.
The club also has fan-driven rivalries with LAFC, Seattle Sounders, and LA Galaxy.
What are RSL fans called?
Real Salt Lake has five supporter groups – Riot Brigade, Salt City United, Section 26, Rogue Cavaliers Brigade, and La Barra. Since 2019, all groups have come together to form The Riot.
The Riot occupies the section behind Rio Tinto Stadium’s south goal during Real Salt Lake games. It can get quite noisy with constant chanting, drums, and noisemakers. Though it is GA seating, expect to stand and wave flags and scarves in the Riot section alongside giant tifos. Smoke and CO2 canons are common during goal celebrations.
Check out the Real Salt Lake seating map at Rio Tinto Stadium here.
How much do Real Salt Lake tickets cost?
For the regular season, single-match ticket rates start at $15. RSL ticket prices vary depending on the section, seating type, and add-ons. Due to high attendance records, you may have to rely on resale tickets for upcoming games – which will cost you more. Make sure to purchase through an official ticketing platform.
Group ticket rates are applicable when booking seats for 10 or more people. For higher rates, premium seating is available in ledge boxes, luxury suites, and clubs, with perks like VIP parking.
Find out more about Real Salt Lake ticket prices and availability here.
Where is the Real Salt Lake stadium?
Real Salt Lake plays its home games at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. It is 15-minutes away from downtown Salt Lake City but easily accessible from Interstate 15. SLC International Airport is a 25-minute drive from the stadium.
The street address for Rio Tinto Stadium is 9256 South State Street Sandy, UT 84070-2604. Use the map below to plan your route to the stadium or see driving directions here.
How to reach Rio Tinto Stadium?
Real Salt Lake’s home stadium in Sandy is located at the interchange between SR 209 (9000 South) and US Highway 89 (State Street). It is also easily accessible via I-15. Driving to the game is certainly the best option. However, don’t forget to check traffic regulations and pre-book your parking near Rio Tinto Stadium.
Salt Lake’s local light-rail service, TRAX, has three stops near Rio Tinto Stadium – but these are at least a 15-minute walk away. If you choose this option, you can get off at the Sandy Civic Center Station, Sandy Expo Station, or Historic Sandy Station.
Find out more about UTA TRAX routes here.
If you are using ride-sharing services, access the drop-off zone on the west and north sides via the Stadium Ring Road entrance.
Is Rio Tinto Stadium ADA Accessible?
Wheelchair and companion seating is available at Real Salt Lakes Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. ADA seating is provided in sections 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 28, 29, 32, 33, 35, 37, 202, 204, 235, and 237. Field seats are also accessible via the main concourse – use the southwest elevator near section 15. The 200-level ADA seats are accessible only via the east elevator.
ADA-accessible drop-off zones are on Rimando Way, on the stadium’s west and north sides. In addition, you can use the ADA entrances at the west, east, and south gates.
Overall, parking is limited at Rio Tinto Stadium. However, ADA spots are available at West Lot #1 and South Lot #2 on a first-come, first-served basis. So, pre-book your Real Salt LAKE parking and arrive early for a guaranteed spot.
Is there Real Salt Lake parking at Rio Tinto Stadium?
Parking at RSL-operated parking lots at Rio Tinto Stadium is limited. However, the neighborhood has several public parking lots and privately-owned garages.
There are six Rio Tinto Stadium parking lots – West Lot, South Lot, North Lot, 90th Lot, Zagg Brands Lot, and Canyons Lot. In addition, public parking is available at three lots near Sandy Park Center, including Sandy City Hall, south of the stadium. There’s another parking lot at Jordan High School and a UTA Park & Ride at the TRAX Historic Sandy Station. A few cash lots are also open to RSL fans on match days; MACU Expo Center is one of the options close to the stadium.
You can also pre-book parking near Rio Tinto Stadium online. First, download a parking app to find the best deals in the neighborhood. Then, easily compare available options and pick the best spot for cheap rates.
Check out this step-by-step guide to easily book a parking spot using an app.
Is Real Salt Lake tailgating allowed at Rio Tinto Stadium?
Tailgating is allowed at the 90th Lot next to the stadium, on its west side. However, tailgaters must follow stadium rules, especially restrictions on charcoal and open fires.
Is street parking available during Real Salt Lake games in Sandy?
You can park on public streets only in designated areas around the stadium. Look out for “No Parking” signs; parking in these streets without a valid Sandy City permit is not allowed during events and games at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL recommends fans park only in designated areas after checking updated parking maps on the official website. Park off-street at safe and well-maintained alternative lots if you cannot find parking next to the stadium.
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