MLS club Real Salt Lake signed a 15-year stadium naming rights deal with one of its original corporate partners, America First Credit Union. The team’s 14-year-old venue, formerly Rio Tinto Stadium, will be known as America First Field, effective immediately.
The deal is worth nearly $100 million, according to a source familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly about it. At around $6 million per year, it is on par with the naming rights deals signed by the two Los Angeles MLS franchises and is double the value for most clubs outside of L.A. Rio Tinto previously held naming rights to the stadium in a deal worth roughly $2 million annually.
“Since our inaugural game back in 2005, America First Credit Union has supported Real Salt Lake’s connection with this community, offering our amazing fans numerous in-stadium, grassroots and digital initiatives,” John Kimball, Real Salt Lake president, said in a press release.
The agreement continues the refresh for the club since David Blitzer, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Devils, Cleveland Guardians and several soccer clubs outside the U.S., acquired RSL for roughly $400 million in January. Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and Arctos Sports Partners are also part of the ownership group. Sportico valued Real Salt Lake at $420 million, ranked 22 out of 27 current MLS franchises.
The deal ended a drawn-out sale process that dated back to 2020, when former RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen agreed to sell the team. MLS took over the process in early 2021 when Hansen failed to find a buyer.
America First Credit Union is Utah’s largest credit union, and with more than $17 billion in assets, it is the seventh largest credit union in the U.S. It has 1.2 million members.
“This partnership will provide value to our members and help us continue to invest in our community and in organizations that support individuals, families, and businesses as they work toward their personal and financial goals,” Thayne Shaffer, America First CEO, said.
Since the Sandy, Utah venue opened in 2008, RSL has played 269 home games and posted 154 wins and 66 draws against just 49 losses. The club is currently tied for sixth in the Western Conference.