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Mayor Says RDA Bill Threatens Soccer Stadium

Mayor Says RDA Bill Threatens Soccer Stadium

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson says that if the governor doesn't veto the Redevelopment Agency reform bill, it could halt plans for a 22,000-seat stadium and send the Real Salt Lake soccer club to another state.

Real Salt Lake said things aren't that bad.

Anderson said he would urge Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., to veto the bill, and, if he doesn't, the mayor will try to get the Legislature to reconsider the issue next year.

"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, but it won't kill their vision.

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

City Councilman Dave Buhler said the measure could force a delay in the stadium plans, giving the team a year to prove it can draw fans while playing at the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium.

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.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, as originally proposed would have prohibited using RDA dollars for retail development, but the final draft simply puts a year moratorium on retail RDA projects. However, it still specifically prohibits using the funds to build a soccer stadium.

RSL has not decided whether to push for a veto on its own, Howes said.

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

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