SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Major League Soccer has approved the sale of Real Salt Lake to David Blitzer and Smith Entertainment Group.
Blitzer also has an ownership stake in the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and the Premier League’s Crystal Palace. Smith Entertainment Group, led by Ryan Smith, owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz.
The league’s Board of Governors announced approval of the sale Wednesday. The deal includes Rio Tinto Stadium, the RSL Academy, the MLS Next Pro team Real Monarchs and the club’s Zions Bank Training Center. A news conference introducing the new owners was set for Thursday.
“David and Ryan’s teams have become synonymous with how athletics and community intersect, as they have demonstrated leading world-class organizations outside of professional soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “Both understand the tremendous value that sports teams bring to a community, and they are deeply committed to Utah. This is a proven ownership group that brings resources and experience to elevate every aspect of the RSL organization.”
Dell Loy Hansen was the previous owner of the club but put it up for sale in August 2020 after reports surfaced that he had made racist comments. Unable to find a buyer, the league took over the sales process in January, 2021.