2006 a Big Year for ReAL Salt Lake

2006 a Big Year for ReAL Salt Lake

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Amanda Butterfield Reporting2006 was a big year for ReAL Salt Lake. A new multi-million dollar stadium was approved; Real Madrid, and David Beckham, came to play; and Freddie Adu, a teenage soccer star, signed with the team. All add up to make ReAL Salt Lake's fortunes number nine in the top 10 stories of 2006.

One of the most recognizable people in the world, David Beckham, brought his game to Salt Lake City and Utahns loved it.

Albert Bauman, Soccer Fan: "Are you excited about this?" "You bet I am!"

45-thousand fans watched Real Madrid play Real Salt Lake at the Rice Eccles Center this past August. Madrid won two-nil.

But it wasn't just play for Beckham and his teammates while they were in Utah. The team broke ground for the new Sandy Soccer Stadium, along with owner Dave Checketts, Governor Jon Huntsman, and Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Mayor Rocky Anderson: "This is a great deal, and now there are opportunities we can take advantage of."

The 180-million dollar stadium, some of which will be paid for using public subsidies, is scheduled to be finished in 2008, and that's when Real Madrid is scheduled to come back and play again.

The two teams signed a 10-year contract agreeing to build a 25-million dollar soccer academy in Salt Lake.

Dave Checketts, Real Salt Lake Owner: "They will be our 50% partner in the construction of an elite soccer academy in Salt Lake City."

Also, Real Madrid will come to Utah every other year, including July 2008 to open up the new Sandy Stadium.

In the meantime, ReAL fans will get to watch 17-year old soccer prodigy Freddy Adu. To end the year on a high note, ReAL traded for Adu with D.C. United. The teenager will play attacking midfielder for the team, a position that he loves.

Freddy Adu, Professional Soccer Player: "It's going to be absolutely awesome, I wish the season started today."

The team has already sold over 100 new season packages since the announcement. Go ReAL.

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