Real Salt Lake Turns "Gift" Into "Investment"

In the latest twist of Dave "Crybaby" Checketts' handout redevelopment package from the Legislature, now he's trying to convert a gift of $7.5M for a youth soccer complex into an "investment" whereby he gets a cut of the action from concessions, parking, and sponsorships. He also wants some of the land for a soccer academy and use of the fields for the team to practice on without paying for it. As both SLC Spin and Voice of Utah have been so kind to point out, he's been planning this all along. This kind of bone-headed PR move fills in more of the details of a man already seen as a money-grubbing opportunist; now he can add "indian-giver philanthropist" to his resume.

Add onto this the ongoing parking woes for the stadium and I'm left wondering if this deal will get scuttled despite scoring the money he said he needed. Of course, I won't be surprised if Sandy Mayor Tom "The New Downtown" Dolan won't find a way to put the city on the hook for even more expenditures for this project than the up to $10M they've already pledged. (It's no wonder that White City, the township I live in, is so fiercely opposed to annexation.) As Utah Centralist has said, he's dead-set on making Sandy into a glamorous expanse of shopping and retail centered around the crown jewel of the new soccer stadium. Given how dedicated he is to this vision, it seems he'd be willing to put city taxpayers lower on his list of priorities to achieve it.

I'm hoping that enough of us will be outraged by these shady maneuvers to give members of both the Legislature and Sandy City Council the bum's rush in the 2007 and 2008 elections. I won't hold my breath, however.

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