The Eagles need Rio Tinto, so boys' soccer players booted

Finals » U.S. Women's National Team's booking also bumped some games.
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The Utah High School Activities Association thought it had a new, spectacular venue for its boys' and girls' state soccer tournaments: Rio Tinto Stadium. That was before '70s American rock band The Eagles and the U.S. Women's National Team were booked.

The Eagles' May 9 concert bumped the May 8 state 1A/2A and 3A boys' soccer final, while 4A and 5A boys' finals created a conflict due to possible field conditions with the U.S. women's game scheduled for May 23.

"The bottom line, I understand [Real Salt Lake] is a business and they've got to make money," UHSAA assistant director Bart Thompson said during Wednesday's executive committee meeting. "We don't offer a lot and they did make us a deal.

"That's one of the reasons we don't play our [state basketball] tournaments at EnergySolutions Arena. If they get a concert, we get bumped."

Last-second changes make it difficult for schools and families to plan travel. The May 8 matches were moved to Jordan High School, while a site is still being determined for the May 20 boys' finals.

Thompson said Rio Tinto offered to hold the 4A and 5A boys for free as compensation, but the UHSAA voted to find a new venue because next season there will also be scheduling conflicts in October.

"We've got to find a place," Thompson said.

Also, the UHSAA approved a move to the South Davis Recreation Center for state swimming meets in 2010 and 2011.

The BYU Natatorium, the usual venue -- with more seating -- is under renovation. The UHSAA also proposed to eliminate alternate relay teams and to reduce the non-individually qualified relay alternates to four per school.

Girls' golf will now use a modified stableford system for high school meets. Instead of scoring by par, points are awarded or taken away for specific hole scores.