SALT LAKE CITY (Wednesday, August 27, 2008) - Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning was joined today by Snow College President Scott Wyatt and Zions Bank Executive Vice President Rob Brough to announce that RSL Stadium, the state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue in Sandy, Utah, will host the Fifth Annual Zions Bank Top of the Mountains Bowl, on Saturday, December 6 at 12:00 noon MT.
"On behalf of Snow College, the host school, and the Bowl Committee, we want to express our excitement of providing the first American Football game to be played in the venue," said Snow College President Scott Wyatt, expressing gratitude to Rice-Eccles Stadium for hosting the game each year since 2004. "The Bowl couldn't be more pleased with the partnership. With the continual improvements to the event, this marks a new high for the Bowl."
Today's announcement comes just three weeks after Real Salt Lake confirmed the Stadium's October 9, 2008, opening date, allowing RSL to host its final two 2008 regular-season games - Thursday, October 9 vs. New York (8:00 p.m. MT, live on ESPN2) and Saturday, October 18 vs. FC Dallas (7:00 p.m. MT, live on Fox Soccer Channel) - at the spectacular venue.
"We are elated to have our Stadium, expected to be the finest outdoor building of its size in America, host the Zions Bank Top of the Mountains Bowl as its first college football game," said RSL President Bill Manning, lauding the venue's intimate 20,000-seat capacity. "This event exemplifies the local connection our building is making with our community, and we look forward to hosting the annual game for several more years."
The Zions Bank Top of the Mountains Bowl is one of six bowl games sanctioned by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The bowl committee's objectives are to showcase the talents of amateur athletes from Snow College - ranked preseason #4 among all NJCAA teams - and another junior college, to give athletes an opportunity to play in a first-class venue and to raise money for higher education scholarships and medical care for children.
"Zions Bank is proud to be associated with what has quickly become one of the premier junior college bowl games," said Zions Bank Executive Vice President Rob Brough. "And we are particularly pleased that the game's proceeds will again help provide scholarships to Snow College students and assist children in need of medical care, while at the same time showcasing some of the nation's top junior college football talent."
For the fifth consecutive year, Zions Bank is the Title Sponsor of the event. Several other sponsors, including the Utah Sports Commission, have also been with the event since the beginning. Snow College will serve as the Bowl's host and home team each year, as long the team finishes with a record of 6-4 or better. The Snow College Badgers are a perennial power in the NJCAA, finishing in the top 20 for the past five seasons, including national top five finishes in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
Ticket availability for this game will be announced later this fall. Prior to the event being on public sale, Real Salt Lake season ticket holders will have an exclusive window to purchase their respective seats for this event. The general public will then have the opportunity to purchase any remaining inventory through both the www.RSLstadium.com and www.TopoftheMountainsBowl.com web sites.
Entering the 2007 version of the event, Snow College was ranked #1 among the country's Junior Colleges as it prepared to face #2-ranked Butler Community College. Butler won 56-27 last year to capture its fifth national championship, dominating the action and gaining a measure of revenge from its 17-14 loss to Snow College in the 2005 Top of the Mountains Bowl game. For a complete history of the Bowl, please visit www.TopoftheMountainsBowl.com.
Construction on the new Stadium began in April of 2007, with completion slated for October, 2008. The 19-month construction schedule is aggressive, considering the size and scope of the project, managed by the Layton/Turner joint venture. Daily, nearly 400 construction workers sweated through the heat of the summer and bundled up continuing construction through the Utah winter despite the cold and snow.
Field irrigation and drainage systems are now complete, and the playing surface is nearly through a 60-day growing schedule following installation, allowing the turf to establish its root structure before becoming playable. Seating placement inside the main bowl is virtually compete, while glass installation and suite and locker room finish work is ongoing. The structural steel support for the main video screen and scoreboard, in the North End, is complete, with the raising and testing of the highly-anticipated Daktronics videoboard and 200-foot LED ribbon boards on the East and West sides currently ongoing.
Season Tickets for the 2009 Real Salt Lake campaign are now on sale, offering the community its first opportunity to secure a piece of real estate inside the RSL Stadium in Sandy. Next Tuesday, September 2, via an interactive, customer-service oriented process, single-game tickets for Real Salt Lake's October 9 and 18 games go on sale to the general public. Virtual tours of the Stadium, powered by Seats3D technology, are available at www.RSLstadium.com, supported by the cutting-edge Veritix ticketing system, the industry leader in digital ticketing and relationship marketing applications.
About Real Salt Lake Stadium
Real Salt Lake Stadium is a state-of-the-art, sports and entertainment facility in Utah, providing a stunning new home for the franchise and an energetic setting for its emerging fan base, one with breathtaking views of both the Oquirrh and Wasatch Mountain ranges.
The Stadium, host of the 2009 MLS All-Star Game, is a new class of venue in the InterMountain West, attracting events that would not otherwise visit Utah, bolstering the state's reputation as an international sporting destination. The diversity of events attracted to the Stadium brings significant media attention, positively impacts tourism efforts and creates numerous job opportunities on both permanent and seasonal bases.
Located in Sandy, Utah, at the heart of the Wasatch Front, the Stadium is conveniently accessed from major transportation arteries Interstate-15 as well State Street, between 9000 South and 9400 South. The venue resides just 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City and 25 minutes from SLC International Airport. The world-class venue seats 20,000 people for various sporting events, including Major League Soccer games, with capacity rising to 25,000 for concerts and other events. Stadium amenities include 32 luxury suites, a 2,000-square foot Stadium Club, 1,000 club seats, five locker rooms, a 60-foot Video Board, and ribbon LED boards on both the east and west fascia.
In order to endure an active slate of various events, the cutting-edge natural grass field boasts an underground heating and drainage system, one which can clear an inch of standing water across its 130 yard length by 90 yard width in 20 minutes. The "sub-air" grid system - similar to that used at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters - has the ability to feeds oxygen and/or warm air to the GTF Kentucky Bluegrass root system, nourishing the grass and encouraging growth when the field is covered and cold-weather times of year.
The Stadium opens its doors for the first time to the public on Thursday, October 9, 2008, when it hosts the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer action LIVE on ESPN2 before an international audience. Other event days include: Saturday, October 18, 7:00 p.m. vs. FC Dallas, LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel; and the Saturday, December 6 "Top of the Mountains" American Football Bowl Game.