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Shaded Seats at America First Field

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America First Field (formerly Rio Tinto Stadium) is an open-air soccer stadium in Sandy, Utah. It serves as the home pitch for Real Salt Lake of MLS and the Utah Royals FC of NWSL. Salt Lake City may be characterized by ski slopes and at the beginning and end of soccer season a seat in the sun may actually be preferable to help stay warm! On the other hand, summers in Utah are warm with abundant sunshine. Soccer fans should use this guide alongside the stadium seating chart to identify the best shaded seats at America First Field.

Where are the seats in the shade and sun at America First Field?

Typically, shaded seats at America First Field are situated:

  • Along the west sideline

Conversely, sunny seats are predominantly found:

  • Along the east sideline
  • Behind the goal lines

Matches at America First Field usually kick off in the late afternoon or evening, though some start early in the day. Salt Lake City has long days and late sunsets in the summer months, so many evening games will take place before dark.

America First Field Orientation to the Sun

The stadium’s north-to-south orientation means the sun is almost directly above the south goal line in the 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM hour. Over the course of the afternoon the sun gradually dips behind the structure on the west side of the stadium and eventually sets near the north goal line.

The graphic below shows the approximate location of the sun throughout the day on July 1st.

Where to Buy Tickets

SeatGeek is the official ticketing partner for both Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC. SeatGeek has both Box Office tickets, as well as re-sale tickets from season ticket holders and others.

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Afternoon America First Field Matches

America First Field boasts an oval-shaped design with seating that encircles the pitch. The stadium features roofs along the east and west sidelines, but seats behind the goal lines are exposed to the sun and elements.

For 1:00 PM matches, shade can be found directly under the roof on both side sidelines at kickoff. However, if your goal is to remain in the shade for the entire match, opt for a seat on the west side of the stadium. Sections 15-23 are the best choices for shade. Seats closer to the pitch will be sun-exposed for longer, and those further back will gain access to shade sooner.

The sunniest sections are behind the goal lines, specifically in sections 8-12 and 26-31. These seats have no roofing or protection from the sun and will stay sunny for most of the early game. As the afternoon progresses, sections will begin to receive shade from west to east; for instance, section 12 will become shaded first, followed by section 11, then section 10, and so on.

Afternoon shadows on the pitch and stands at America First Field

By late-afternoon seats on the west sideline are in the shade, while seats on the east sideline (opposite side of the pitch in this photo) are still sunny.
Credit: Rio Tinto Stadium by PeteysHead (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Seats in the Sun and Shade at Evening America First Field Matches

By early evening, the entire west side of the stadium and seats behind the goal lines will be shaded. The remaining sections on the east side will start the match in the sun and won’t receive shade until sunset. It’s important to note that being seated under the roof on the east side won’t necessarily mitigate the sun’s effects. Due to the sun’s position, fans in sections 1-7, 34-37, 201-206, and 233-237 may experience significant glare until sunset.

Ready to get your Real Salt Lake or Utah Royals tickets?

Use the individual game links or click or tap here to see an upcoming list of games at America First Field.