When the 2018 USL season begins, one of the more significant developments will be the opening of a new home for Real Monarchs.
This year will be the Monarchs’ first at Zions Bank Stadium. The stadium will include 5,000 seats and is part of the Zions Bank Real Academy—a training complex for the Real Salt Lake organization.
Along with providing the Monarchs a permanent home at the heart of the organization’s training ground, Zions Bank Stadium also gives the club a venue more conducive to the USL. In its first three seasons of play, the Monarchs played their home games at Rio Tinto Stadium—the home of MLS’s Real Salt Lake, which features a capacity of around 20,000.
Across the USL, the opening of Zions Bank Stadium will be one of the more significant developments when it comes to facilities in 2018. All four of the league’s expansion clubs are moving into existing venues that were originally constructed for Minor League Baseball, while Indy Eleven—which is joining the circuit after departing the NASL—is calling Lucas Oil Stadium home for 2018.
The Monarchs, however, have managed to obtain a venue that was built and designed for soccer, and one that will offer features that have USL standards in mind. It is worth noting, however, that the soccer-specific design will not limit Zions Bank Stadium’s ability to host other events. In fact, the venue is also set to become the full-time home of the Utah Warriors, a team that will compete in the inaugural season of Major League Rugby.
For now, the most anticipated date for Zions Bank Stadium is March 31, when the Monarchs will host Portland Timbers 2 in the stadium’s first regular-season USL game.
Overall, Zions Bank Stadium is not just a major step for the Monarchs, but for the growing Real Salt Lake organization, which is adding a new NWSL team—Utah Royals FC—for 2018. Back in November, our own Jon Bruning wrote a feature on the NWSL club and previewed some of the features that are included in Zions Bank Real Academy.
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