SANDY, Utah, Dec. 7, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah Royals FC will be moving to Kansas City, officials announced Monday morning.
“Utah Royals FC has entered into a mutually beneficial transaction with the National Women’s Soccer League that would permit the team to play in Kansas City for the upcoming 2021 season,” said a news release from Real Salt Lake.
Officials intend to re-establish the Utah Royals FC name and franchise at Rio Tinto Stadium two years from now, in 2023.
“Our hearts are full of gratitude and appreciation for the support and passion our fans have shared with us over the years,” the news release said. “We hope to carry on the rich tradition of the Utah Royals FC with leadership that shares our mission to provide prominent world class resources for female athletes. To this end, we prioritize cooperation with the leagues to ensure a smooth transition to new ownership, and we pledge our unwavering support for bringing Utah Royals FC back to Rio Tinto Stadium as soon as possible.”
Utah Royals FC commenced play in 2018 when the former FC Kansas City folded and Utah Soccer LLC purchased the rights to the team, moving it to Sandy.
“We love the Utah soccer community and have been honored to work with these world-renowned professional women athletes,” said owners Dell Loy and Julie Hansen. “We will truly miss our athletes who have become our friends. We lend our full support to new owners who can continue our vision to have the women’s team equal to the men’s team in time, facilities, and resources and who can help shepherd the team into a new era of growth and success.”
Vice President of Soccer Operations Rob Zarkos added: “I would like to thank the players who gave their all to this community, the staff who worked to make it happen and the fans who supported us every step of the way. You are Utah Royals FC.”
In the team’s first season, under the tutelage of renowned women’s coach Laura Harvey, Utah Royals FC made major signings, including four FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions in Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, Amy Rodriguez and Becky Sauerbrunn.
Utah Royals FC played its first ever match on March 28, 2018 in front of a sold-out, standing room only crowd of 19,203 at Rio Tinto Stadium. In its three years of play, the team earned the second-highest attendance in the league.
Under unprecedented times due to COVID-19, Utah Royals FC Ownership donated approximately $900,000 to the league in order to host the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret, to become the first professional sports league in America to return to play.
For a message from Captain Amy Rodriguez click here.
Utah Royals FC will provide further information in the coming weeks.