A founding executive of Real Salt Lake will serve as interim president of Utah Soccer after majority owner Dell Loy Hansen announced his leave of absence.
John Kimball will take a temporary leave from his role as president of Vivint Arena to "have exclusive management responsibility and control of operations for the organization and report to MLS Commissioner Don Garber on MLS matters during the ownership transition period," a press release stated.
“John Kimball is an experienced sports executive who brings extraordinary leadership and stability to the organization,” said Garber. “John was instrumental in the launch of Real Salt Lake and has a deep connection to the local soccer community. We thank the Miller Family and Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment CEO Steve Starks for their support during this important transition period.”
Hansen's leave of absence came after allegations in The Athletic that he was responsible for alleged racist behavior during his time as owner. He is also under scrutiny for comments he made during a local radio show about his team participating in national sporting boycotts last Wednesday.
MLS announced Tuesday that Sullivan & Cromwell LLP will oversee the investigation into "recent allegations concerning the culture at Real Salt Lake and the comments and conduct of investor-operator Dell Loy Hansen and Chief Business Officer Andrew Carroll."
The following information was provided by MLS about Kimball: A Utah native, Kimball has more than 25 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry. He was part of Real Salt Lake’s executive team for a decade, joining the club as senior vice president of business operations in 2003, two years before the team’s inaugural MLS season. After departing Real Salt Lake in early 2013, Kimball worked in the media business before joining Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment in 2015.