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Angry Soccer Fan Leaves Messages at Senator's Home

Angry Soccer Fan Leaves Messages at Senator's Home



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- If Sen. Curt Bramble had any doubts that his Redevelopment Agency reform bill was unpopular with soccer fans, they were removed when he arrived home to find some messages waiting.

The senator, whose bill would prohibit use of RDA funds for sports stadiums, arrived at his home in Provo Saturday night to find someone had written in chalk on the driveway, "You have declared war."

On the porch, there was an oversized soccer ball and a letter carrying the same message.

Another message alleged that "Bramble hates fans," he said Sunday.

The letter was signed RSL, the acronym for Real Salt Lake, the name of the the Major League Soccer expansion team that begins play this season.

Bramble, who doesn't believe the team was involved, said the messages and note were jarring and caused some anxiety for his family.

"The fact is a debate of ideas is fine. But when people start writing messages on your driveway, your sidewalk, the street in front of your house and your wife and kids get concerned about it, that's out of bounds," he said.

Team spokesman Trey Fitz-Gerald said the organization did not condone the tactics.

"I should take this opportunity to remind our fans that there's a right way and a wrong way to express your opinion," and this was not the right way to get what the team needs, he said.

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson said last week that he would urge the governor to veto the bill, which he said could halt plans for a 22,000-seat stadium and send the Real Salt Lake soccer club to another state.

"It's devastating to the entire state. We're going to lose this team. This team will end up in some other state," Anderson said.

However, RSL officials said that while the legislation may hurt, it won't kill their plans.

"We are moving forward," team CEO Dean Howes said Thursday. "We have committed to Major League Soccer."

The 10-acre block the city originally proposed for the stadium could cost up to $20 million. Anderson is pursing less expensive back-up sites.

Murray also has a potential site that would cost much less. The Murray City Council has said it would not use RDA funds to buy land or infrastructure for the venue.

Bramble's bill as originally drafted would have prohibited using RDA dollars for retail development, but the final bill simply puts a year moratorium on retail RDA projects. However, it still specifically prohibits using the funds to build stadiums.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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