It’s do or die for the Utah State Fairpark

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The future of the Utah State Fairpark is in the hands of state lawmakers.

Representatives of the Utah State Fair briefed lawmakers on Friday on a pending deal for a Real Monarchs minor league soccer stadium, as well as asking for nearly $700,000 in taxpayer money to keep the fairpark afloat. Aging structures and years without proper funding have hurt the grounds.

"We do not have the luxury of kicking this can further down the road," said RogerĀ Beattie, the chairman of the board for the Utah State Fairpark.

The Utah State Fair itself makes money, but it needs to generate revenue the rest of the year. Real Salt Lake is proposing to build a $23 million stadium for its minor league team, Real Monarchs. It is projected to make at least $3 million each year. The fairpark grounds have previously lost out on a children's museum and an aquarium in development.

The stadium would be privately funded, Beattie told lawmakers. But they still need taxpayer money for the rest of the grounds -- including $675,000 in operations and another $100,000 to look at building an exhibition building and existing rodeo grounds.

Lawmakers had many questions about the future of the Utah State Fair.

"The status quo is pretty unacceptable," said Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, who said it was time to decide if Utah kept its state fair or got rid of it.

The legislative appropriations committee approved a plan to study the deal with Real Salt Lake. Beattie told FOX 13 they have until April 23 to renew the lease -- or they risk losing it.

4 comments

  • bob

    They just spent a fortune remodeling and doing structural upgrades to several of those “aging buildings.”

    Unbelievable. Tell the soccer people to go buy some land at market value and build their stadium at their own expense.

    And now, they’re NOT “building it at their own expense.” Not if the taxpayers have to pay to relocate the Fairpark.

    First the prison, and now this. STOP SUBSIDIZING DEVELOPERS!

    • Fish

      Bob the costs are for the rest of the fairgrounds maintenance and upkeep. The developer is paying everything out of their pocket for the COMMUNITY structures. Which ideally makes this more donation the building for themselves. The original deal was for half and half. Research what it really is before you make comments.

      • Fish

        The tax payers were going to pay either way if we were going to keep the fairgrounds. Them paying helped reduce the tax payers part. Your argument doesn’t make sense.

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