Real Monarchs to Open Rio Tinto Stadium on July 11 for First Match with Fans in Attendance
SANDY, Utah - The defending USL Champion Real Monarchs SLC will host the first professional team sporting event played in the U.S with fans in attendance since March 11. The Monarchs will host the U.S. National Team legend Landon Donovan led San Diego Loyal SC on Saturday, July 11 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Rio Tinto Stadium (with a normal capacity of 20,700 fans) will be opened for up to 5,300 fans (with proper social distancing) after the organization received approval for their plan from state and local health authorities and the USL. The match will be televised nationally on ESPN Deportes.
"Our staff has worked diligently to develop a comprehensive plan that ensures that we have a safe, healthy and fun environment for our fans while experiencing a great match at Rio Tinto Stadium," Real Salt Lake Chief Business Officer Andy Carroll said. "The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and community has been the top priority throughout our process in seeking creative solutions to safely open our stadium to fans. With safe distances between seats and other safety measures in place, we are proud and excited to welcome our fans back as the Monarchs return to the field in defense of their USL Championship title. We are very grateful to the thoughtful and steady leadership that we have in Salt Lake County and throughout Utah state government in providing this opportunity."
The last American professional sporting event with fans in attendance was an NBA game between the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks on March 11. Throughout that night and the following days, professional and collegiate sports leagues across the country suspended their seasons amid the global Covid-19 pandemic. The National Women's Soccer League was the first professional league to return to the field on Saturday when the North Carolina Courage topped the Portland Thorns at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. Two weeks later, Utah will host another significant milestone with fans in attendance.
Tickets will first be made available to season ticket members with Real Salt Lake, Real Monarchs SLC and Utah Royals FC. Remaining tickets will be made available to the general public.
The Monarchs return to play after playing just one match prior to the USL Championship postponing matches due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its first outing, the defending USL Championship title-winners fell 1-0 to San Antonio FC on March 7. The match will also mark the first meeting between the Monarchs and expansion San Diego, who entered the league prior to the 2020 season.
In order to limit travel, the regular season sees the Championship's clubs divided into eight regionalized groups, with each team competing in a 16-game regular season. There are five groups made up of four teams, and three groups made up of five teams to cover the 35 member clubs of the Championship. Real Monarchs was placed in Group C alongside El Paso Locomotive FC, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and New Mexico United.
The regular season games will be played over 13 weeks, concluding on the weekend of October 2-4. Games completed prior to the season suspension in March will be counted and included in the schedule, with teams that were active on the opening weekend of the season having 15 games remaining in their schedule.
Both San Diego Loyal SC and the Tacoma Defiance - who completed two games prior to the season suspension - will have 14 games remaining in their respective schedules.
Tickets to Real Monarchs vs. San Diego Loyal SC will go on sale in the near future. For the most up-to-date information, contact a Real Monarchs ticketing representative at 844-REAL-TIX.
• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...
United Soccer League Championship Stories from July 2, 2020
- Republic FC to Resume USL Season at Home on Monday, July 13 - Sacramento Republic FC
- RGV FC Reveals New USL Championship Schedule - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
- Indy Eleven 2020 Regular Season Schedule Set - Indy Eleven
- Philadelphia Union II Announce Updated 2020 Regular-Season Schedule - Philadelphia Union II
- USL Announces 2020 Regular Season Schedule - Saint Louis FC
- OCSC to Resume Play with 15 Matches, Including 7 at Home - Orange County SC
- Atlanta United 2 Releases 2020 USL Championship Schedule - Atlanta United 2
- 2020 USL Championship Schedule Unveiled - Reno 1868 FC
- Riverhounds SC's 16-Game Revised Schedule Unveiled - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- Switchbacks FC Unveil Revised 2020 Regular Season Schedule - Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
- El Paso Locomotive FC Unveils 2020 Return to Play Schedule - El Paso Locomotive FC
- Charlotte Independence Release Schedule - Charlotte Independence
- Real Monarchs Announce Full Schedule for 2020 USL Championship Season - Real Monarchs SLC
- Louisville City FC's Revised Schedule Released - Louisville City FC
- San Antonio FC Announces Updated 2020 USL Championship Schedule - San Antonio FC
- Hartford Athletic Announces 2020 USL Championship Schedule - Hartford Athletic
- USL Championship Unveils Revised 2020 Regular Season Schedule - USL
- FC Tulsa Unveils Full 2020 USL Championship Schedule - FC Tulsa
- North Carolina FC Set to Return to Play with Schedule Announcement - North Carolina FC
- Loudoun United FC Announce Schedule for 2020 USL Championship Season - Loudoun United FC
- Rising Releases Full Schedule for Resumption of 2020 Season - Phoenix Rising FC
- Memphis 901 FC Releases Return to Play Schedule - Memphis 901 FC
- New Mexico United Announces Full Return-To-Play Schedule - New Mexico United
- Usl Championship Unveils Revised 2020 Regular Season Schedule - OKC Energy FC
- Reno 1868 to Face Sacramento Republic FC on ESPN2 - Reno 1868 FC
- Hounds to Battle Indy Eleven in Home Opener, Game to be Aired on ESPN2 - Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
- North Carolina FC Included in USL's National ESPN2 Broadcast Lineup - North Carolina FC
- Orange County SC to Resume Play on ESPN2 July 16th - Orange County SC
- USL Championship Announces Opening ESPN2 Broadcast Lineup - USL
- Legion FC to Open Season July 15 at Home vs. Memphis 901 FC on ESPN2 - Birmingham Legion FC
- ESPN2 Schedule for July Announced - USL
- Real Monarchs to Open Rio Tinto Stadium on July 11 for First Match with Fans in Attendance - Real Monarchs SLC
- Indy Eleven to Restart 2020 Season at Home Next Saturday, July 11 - Indy Eleven
- Energy FC to Host Tulsa in Return to Play Opener - OKC Energy FC
- USL Championship Announces Opening Weekend Schedule - Rio Grande Valley FC Toros
- Atlanta United 2 Season Resumes on July 11 - Atlanta United 2
- USL Championship Announces Opening Weekend Schedule - USL
- USL Championship Announces Opening Weekend Schedule - New Mexico United
- Phoenix Rising and the USL Championship to Become First Professional American Sports League to Return to Play in Its Local Markets - Phoenix Rising FC
- FC Tulsa to Restart 2020 Season with Nationally Televised Rivalry Match - FC Tulsa
- Switchbacks FC Home Opener July 11 - Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
- El Paso Locomotive FC Set to Host Rio Grande Valley FC in Return to Play Opener - El Paso Locomotive FC
- STLFC Approved to Open at 50% Capacity - Saint Louis FC
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.