Another professional sports team comes to Zions Bank StadiumMay 09, 2022 08:36PM ● By Justin Adams
The exciting fast-paced sport of ultimate frisbee is coming to Herriman. (Photo courtesy of the Salt Lake Shred)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
Zions Bank Stadium continues to become a sports destination in the state as yet another professional sports organization, the Salt Lake Shred, will make its home there this summer. The Shred compete in the American Ultimate Disc League, a fast-growing league that has expanded with three additional teams this year.
It’s actually not the first professional ultimate frisbee team to exist in the state of Utah. The Salt Lake Lions were formed in 2014, but lasted only one year. Since that time, local ultimate organizations around the state have worked diligently to build the sports’ popularity at a grassroots level.
“The youth are getting better and better and our college teams are getting increasingly more attention on the national stage. We wanted to provide an opportunity to compete at the very highest levels to give kids something to shoot for,” said Joel Dehlin, one of the founders of the new team.
A press release by the Shred cites national success by local teams - both at the high school and collegiate level - as one reason for optimism. Lone Peak High School for example, had both a boys and girls team place in the top three in a national tournament.
The growing pool of talented players led to the creation of a professional women’s team two years ago: the Utah Wild. Now the men are getting in on the action too.
The team held open tryouts at the stadium earlier this year, which attracted about 150 hopefuls. From there, the coaches narrowed the group down to a final roster of 31 players. The team has a healthy mix of local players with experience playing together as well as AUDL veterans.
“The talent is extraordinary,” Dehlin said. “These were terribly difficult decisions. In the past, if you were a great ultimate player then you could play for whatever team you wanted in Utah. This is probably the first time in history that truly Great players didn't make a team they wanted to be on in Utah. This bodes well for the future of the sport in Utah.”
If the team’s first two games are any indication, the coaches made some good decisions when they put together the team. On a road trip to southern California, the team defeated the San Diego Growlers and the LA Aviators. The wins were even more impressive considering that San Diego is the reigning champion for the Western Division.
The Shred now return to their new home at Zions Bank Stadium for a second week of AUDL action this weekend. They’ll be taking on the Seattle Cascade on Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m.
“The Zions Bank Stadium venue is incredible. It's a perfect size for us and it's beautiful. The staff there are very accommodating and anxious to work together. We're very excited about our choice to play our games in Herriman,” Dehlin said.
For residents who maybe aren’t familiar with the sport of ultimate frisbee, Dehlin said that it’s an easy sport to start watching.
“When people come watch, they're hooked. It's a great, family-friendly environment. It's super fun, very exciting, and very affordable. There are only six home games and we expect many will come out to the first game and then come back to at least one, if not all, of the rest of our home games. It's just a fun experience,” he said.
Ticket packages are available on the team's website, which you can find here.