This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon announced Wednesday that the "numbers just don't work" for county taxpayers, so he is ending negotiations with the Major League Soccer team.
That means RSL will not get the $35 million in public financing from the county to use toward land and infrastructure for the $145 million soccer-and-entertainment complex.
"For the citizens of Salt Lake County," Corroon said, "we didn't feel it was fiscally prudent."
Dean Howes, RSL's chief executive officer, issued a statement later in the day, saying the team is "completely focused on our upcoming game this weekend."
RSL, in the throes of a record 17-game winless streak, hosts Columbus on Saturday.
Howes' statement said he and team owner Dave Checketts planned to hold a news conference Friday or Saturday to address the stadium issue.
Corroon said he informed Howes on Wednesday morning of his decision. The mayor said Howes expressed his disappointment.
Corroon noted that RSL still could secure public financing for the stadium if Sandy or the County Council opted to put the issue on the ballot this November. In that event, voters would have to decide whether to raise their property taxes for the venture.
Corroon said he also left messages for Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and legislative leaders about his move.
Utah House and Senate leaders shepherded a bill through the 2006 Legislature that provided a 1.25 percent jump in the hotel tax rate - ostensibly to provide funding for the Sandy stadium.
RSL is in its second season of play at its temporary home at the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium. Team and league officials have warned that if RSL fails to get its own stadium, the franchise would have to move.
Corroon's decision comes after RSL's operating model was leaked to The Salt Lake Tribune. Those financial numbers show the team is losing millions a year and doesn't expect to turn its first profit - $11,000 - until 2010, two years after its expected move to a Sandy stadium. By 2015, RSL predicts a profit of $2.3 million.
The team also is banking on booming ticket sales - projections that many observers criticize as overly optimistic.
RSL was outraged over the leak of its finances and complained that the numbers were proprietary.