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Professional Aug 31, 2020

Dell Loy Hansen to sell Utah Soccer Holdings, including MLS, USL and NWSL teams

Dell Loy Hansen announced on Sunday that he will sell Utah Soccer Holdings, the company that includes ownership of MLS side Real Salt Lake, NWSL team Utah Royals FC and USL’s Real Monarchs.

MLS commissioner Don Garber and NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird have each announced their support of Hansen’s decision, stating that they will be available to assist in the selling process.

The decision came after Hansen came under fire for comments he made during a radio interview on Thursday, which were critical of the MLS players’ protests that led to games being postponed on Wednesday night. Real Salt Lake’s home game against Los Angeles FC was among the five games that were postponed, as the teams decided not to play in protest of the recent police killing of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Hansen stated that the refusal to play was of “disrespect was profound to me, personally,” after his Utah Soccer staff had gone through significant lengths to safely open Rio Tinto Stadium for up to 5,000 fans. It would have marked the first home game with fans at Rio Tinto Stadium since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Since then, Hansen has faced backlash from MLS and NWSL players, fans and media members for the comments. Accusations of previous racially insensitive comments from Hansen have surfaced as well, causing the NWSL and MLS to launch investigations on his conduct.

Hansen released the following statement on Sunday, announcing his decision to sell Utah Soccer Holdings:

“To the RSL Community –

I recognize that at times I have spoken too quickly, without pausing to consider the feelings or good intentions of others. This is not acceptable and I assume full responsibility for allowing my words to travel unfiltered as to their significance and impact.

I believe that communities are strengthened by diversity. I am truly sorry for offending and being insensitive to the plight of others. I seek to do better and commit to supporting and improving diversity and inclusion in my own community going forward.

After deep consideration and soul-searching, my wife Julie and I agree that the best way forward for the Real Salt Lake family is to assume new ownership and a refreshed vision. We are fully invested in supporting the transition to new ownership and will work diligently to try to ensure that the Club stays within our community. We will support the organization and its employees in moving quickly so as to minimally disrupt this season and allow new ownership adequate time to plan for the 2021 season.

Real Salt Lake has our full support. We have been blessed with loving friendships that are expressed daily. These will be sorely missed. We love our community and our family and sincerely hope for the best outcomes for each. Know that our hearts will always bleed Claret and Cobalt.

Sincerely,
Dell Loy Hansen”