Real Salt Lake have announced that Utah's MLS side and its new hometown will team up to co-host a free "Open House" event at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, March 21. Real Salt Lake will host an exhibition contest against the Austin Aztex of the USL First Division, with kickoff slated for 1:00 p.m.
Real Salt Lake have a bye in the first match day week of MLS so the open House will encompass all the happenings of a regular match day at Rio Tinto Stadium, from the pre-game Carnival Real to the post-game press conference with Head Coach Jason Kreis - with the noticeable exception of needing a ticket to enter the building! Fans are encouraged to show up early to take part in the super-sized Carnival Real area for the event, which will include the regular free activities in addition to 25-cent carnival games, snacks and refreshments for purchase, and photos with RSL mascot Leo the Lion all provided by the Sandy City Rotary Club, which will receive all proceeds earned from the pre-game festival.
"This is an idea we have kicked around for a while, and we are pleased to partner with Sandy City in opening Rio Tinto Stadium free-of-charge to the public while at the same time getting a competitive game for our team," said Real Salt Lake and Rio Tinto Stadium President Bill Manning. "We hope those residents who have yet to visit the new stadium will stop by and join our fans for a great day of soccer."
The event will allow new - and future - RSL fans a sneak peek at the state-of-the-art venue, in addition to the chance to watch Real Salt Lake's final tune-up of the spring prior to its 2009 MLS regular season opener at Seattle Sounders FC the following weekend. Real Salt Lake will begin its first full season of play at Rio Tinto Stadium with a nationally-televised showdown against the defending MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew on Thursday, April 2 (7:00 p.m. MT kickoff).
Following the exhibition match against the Aztex, all fans in attendance will have the opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with their favourite RSL players, as the entire squad will take part in an hour-long post-game photo session on the stadium's concourse level (weather permitting).
Parking for the March 21st event at Rio Tinto Stadium will be free and available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Stadium's three on-site lots - South, West (VIP), and North (Ardell Brown grounds) - in addition to the parking lots located at Canyons Transportation (9400 South) and Helms Lot (9000 South) to the southwest and north of the Stadium, respectively. For an updated list and map of all available parking lots for the March 21st Open House, please continue to visit RioTintoStadium.com in the days leading up to the event.