Paul C. Burke, a shareholder and the Firm’s general counsel, was hailed for his role in the development of the newly opened Salt Lake City Regional Athletic Complex, a 140 acre facility with sixteen soccer and sports fields in northwest Salt Lake City. Burke joined Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and other dignitaries in cutting the ribbon to officially open the facility on September 18, 2015.
During his remarks at the opening ceremony, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker described Paul Burke as having been “instrumental as a community advocate during the bonding process and as this [project] has needed public support every step of the way.” Mayor Becker called the facility “the dream of a few people [that] became a reality when the bond was passed.”
Burke, who served as president of the Utah Youth Soccer Association from 2003 to 2005, proposed the project to former Mayor Rocky Anderson in an email on April 17, 2003. Three days later, Burke joined Mayor Anderson, Salt Lake City Public Services Direct Rick Graham, David Spatafore, Steve Barth, and Laurence Reineke to tour potential sites, including the ultimate venue for the facility. Burke and Spatafore served as co-chairs of the Five for Our Kids Committee, which backed the bond in the general election.
On November 4, 2003, only one day after the Deseret News declared that Proposition No. 5 is “doomed to fail,” Salt Lake City voters carried Pro. 5 to a dramatic come-from-behind victory. A KSL-TV/Deseret News poll had shown Prop. 5 to be trailing by 12% with less than a week left in the campaign and with only 8% of voters undecided. Two days before the election, the Salt Lake Tribune called the race a dead heat, with the question trailing 46% to 43%. Prop. 5 ultimately earned 51.17% of the vote and prevailed by less than a thousand votes, with 20,124 votes in favor and 19,204 opposed.
“Salt Lake’s Regional Athletic Complex will be a jewel for our community and a legacy for generations to come,” said Burke. “Thank you to Mayors Ralph Becker and Rocky Anderson for believing in this project and for building these fields of dreams.” Burke also expressed gratitude to the Salt Lake City Council, David Spatafore, Steve Barth, Laurence Reineke, Rick Graham, Dennis Haslam, Real Salt Lake, and the voters of Salt Lake City for supporting the project through more than a decade of development.