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Major League Rugby’s Utah Warriors planning new stadium

The Utah Warriors Major League Rugby franchise has unveiled plans for a new 10,000-seat stadium, which is slated to open by 2023.

The multi-purpose venue will serve as the permanent home of the Warriors, which currently play at the 5,000-seat soccer-specific Zions Bank Stadium. The new stadium will also host other professional sports teams that the Warriors ownership group is hoping to bring to Utah.

Additionally, the venue will stage community, high school, concerts and other entertainment events, enabling it to serve as the anchor tenant for a live-work-play district in one of Utah’s Wasatch Front communities. The Warriors expect to make announcements on the final site selection for the stadium in the coming months.

The Warriors will work with construction company Mortenson on the project. The firm recently opened a permanent office in Utah and has built nearly 200 sports facilities across the US, including the Las Vegas Raiders’ Allegiant Stadium and Golden State Warriors’ Chase Center.

The Warriors debuted in Major League Rugby in 2018. The league was forced to cancel its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic but has plans to return next year with a new campaign starting on March 20.

Kimball Kjar, the Warriors’ general manager and chief executive, said: “We’ve spent a lot of time building our vision for the future home of the organisation, and we are excited to take the next step in this journey.

“Over the last few seasons, we have built a strong fan base and following for the Warriors in the community we’ve proven this is a rugby town. We intend to build a venue that supports Warriors Nation and that can allow other professional sports teams along with high school sports to play in this venue.”

Josh Caldwell, business development executive and head of Mortenson’s Salt Lake City office, added: “We believe the opportunities in the Utah sports industry are uniquely poised for incredible growth. And, we see partnership opportunities with organisations like the Utah Warriors and the MLR, to develop sports facilities in Utah, as an exciting example of an opportunity we are not only uniquely positioned for but also highly invested in for the greater community.”

The Warriors have formed an advisory committee to guide the stadium and surrounding live-work-play development site selection process. The committee will include Caldwell, as well as Guy Woodbury, senior vice-president of hospitality at Woodbury Corporation; Mike Carey, director at Protecs; Thom Cuparkoff, principal at OSports; Greg Hughes, former Utah Speaker of the House and a candidate for Governor of Utah; and Steve Barth, political consultant at SB Strategies.

Image: Utah Warriors/OSports