The venue has been known as Rio Tinto Stadium since it opened in October 2008.
RioT no longer exists – with the official name at least.
Real Salt Lake has announced the tournament’s new sponsor — America First Credit Union — and the stadium’s name has changed to America First Field, RSL announced Saturday.
Sportico’s website stated that the deal is worth around $100 million Over 15 years, putting RSL rights deal “on par with those of Los Angeles MLS franchises and doubling for most clubs outside Los Angeles”
“RSL and America First Credit Union share many principles, including ambitious vision, commitment, and innovation for our collective community,” RSL President John Kimball said in a statement. “The depth, breadth, and duration of this naming rights agreement for America First Field is a perfect example of that partnership, and we look forward to deepening our common roots not only across the great state of Utah but throughout the Intermountain West.
The change does not raise an immediate question for RSL fanatics. The Rio Tinto Stadium earned the RioT nickname shortly after it opened in 2008, and the nickname has been incorporated into fan culture.
Some die-hard RSL fans said they don’t care which company has the official naming rights. For them, they will always be called “The RioT”, and they don’t plan to change the lyrics to “Believe” song Written by Rancid drummer and RSL fan Branden Steinkert.
“I don’t care what the sign says, I will always refer to our stadium as The RioT,” said fan Matty Casey. “That is true even if they build a new stadium in downtown SLC one day. I will always sing Believe when the game kicks off and after every goal players score. Some things are permanent.”
Steinkert himself addressed this question in response to a tweet.
“Rio applies to any match at home or outside,” the drummer wrote. “It’s always Rio’s fight for our club on/off the field and the battle hymns begin! We’re here for RSL!”
Ahead of the official announcement of the news, another fan, Christy Sutter, sympathized with which new company would take over the naming rights to the stadium because, in her opinion, there would likely be no other nickname that would reflect the new business.
“I’m going to keep calling it Ryo, and I’m going to want to keep the song the way it is,” Sutter said. “I know it’s not fair to whoever has the next name contract for that, but I can’t imagine another better name for this stadium.”
America First has been a partner of RSL since the club’s inception in 2005, when it played its home games at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
“We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer by putting our name into this upscale sports and entertainment venue, and by offering our exclusive RSL branded credit and debit card,” said Thayne Shaffer, America First. President and CEO.
As part of the expanded partnership, America First will create RSL-branded debit and credit cards that provide account holders discount tickets, concessions, and merchandise, as well as special access to events.
There is a training ground 1.5 miles south of the stadium actually called America First Field. was where Utah Royals FC held its practices before The franchise was sold and moved to Kansas City. This field will now be referred to US First Training Grounds and is expected to receive some upgrades.
Rio Tinto will remain a sponsor of the club going forward.
The stadium Rio Tinto has been its main sponsor since its opening in October 2008. The deal was due to expire in 2018, but in 2015 it was extended until the end of 2020. There have been talks with several local companies – Including visual supply chain management To take over as the rightful nomenclature sponsor before the organization eventually enters into a partnership with the AFC.