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Governor Huntsman calls on Legislature to Save Utah Soccer

Salt Lake City, Utah - Utah Governor Jon Huntsman today called on the Utah State Legislature to amend and pass 1SHB 38 in support of professional soccer in Utah.

"It is important for everyone to understand the proposal at hand: we are not building a stadium with State taxpayer money. This is an economic development investment in valuable property and a valuable community asset," Governor Huntsman said. "The transient room tax (TRT) is placed on hotel rooms and rental cars, paid by visitors to Salt Lake County and used to help fund tourist-related resources and facilities. This plan uses just 15 percent of that tax, while the rest is dedicated to other Salt Lake County projects."

The amended bill would direct $20 million of previously approved TRT funds, set aside in 2005 to build a parking structure for the South Towne Expo Center, and an additional $15 million for the purchase of land and public infrastructure. The bill amending the parking structure funding passed the House of Representatives last week and is awaiting action in the Senate. The bill must be approved this week in order to meet ReAL's Friday deadline.

"ReAL Salt Lake has become a proud part of our community and it is imperative for the Legislature to act now in order to keep this tremendous asset here in Utah," Governor Huntsman said. "I urge the Senate to amend 1SHB 38 to extend the transient room tax sunset to buy land in Sandy, and the House to concur, in order to honor the commitments made to ReAL and Utah. We must work together to make this a reality.

"This project will enhance our quality of life, especially for the hundreds of thousands of Utah youth who play soccer."

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