In today's Tribune, Kurt Kragthorpe says that losing Real Salt Lake will hurt Salt Lake City's image as being a big-league sports team.
It's an image that we don't have.
RSL says that they will make a profit in 5 years if they have their own stadium they don't have to build to rent out for concerts (because that's what this city lacks is concert venues), and has 20,000 fans per game (near-sellout crowds, BTW).
I'm not surprised they aren't doing as hot. The Blitzz sure didn't sell any tickets, and they put a winning product on the field.
It's the problem the WNBA had when they brought the Starzz here: They overestimated the market for women's basketball. They figured the Jazz sold out nearly every game, and lots of people in town play bball. But, the UofU women's team got 1,000 people per game, and those were free.
Right now, sports in Utah aren't doing real well financially, and it's probably because there's an oversaturation of sports in town.
The Jazz had their smallest crowds since the Delta Center opened. The Grizzlies averaged 1/4 capacity, and they were a playoff team. The Bees worse than that.
The only team to do well lately has been the Blaze, and the jury's still out on that one. Will the newness wear off? It's hard to know.
But this I do know: It's hard to call yourself a major league town when you can't even support minor league teams.