After debating whether to extend the lease at Smith’s Ballpark in central Salt Lake City, the Larry H. Miller Company will instead build a new Salt Lake Bees ballpark in Daybreak, a master-planned community in South Jordan, Utah.
The team’s current Smith’s Ballpark lease expires in 2024; the new Salt Lake Bees ballpark is set to open for the 2025 season and will be privately financed. This saves the expense for upgrading Smith’s ballpark to meet the new MiLB specs, and it also resolves the issue both for the team and the city. Construction will begin this year, and the new ballpark will open for the 2025 baseball season. Details, including the location, renderings and surrounding amenities, will be released later this year.
We had reported on the possibility of the team deciding to leave the troubled ballpark neighborhood for several months ago, noting that the Larry H. Miller company purchased 1,300 acres in the 4,000-acre Daybreak development, located in the fast-growing southwest quadrant of Salt Lake County, and that a new ballpark would be a logical anchor for the area.
One of the challenges for the Bees has not been the ballpark, but rather the surrounding neighborhood, sorely in need of some TLC. The city has been talking about renovations as part of a new lease, including the addition of an expansion of the ballpark footprint to include an expanded entertainment plaza. With the loss of the Bees, the city will need to look at neighborhood changes in a different light.
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