A new University of Utah ballpark has been proposed by school officials, launching a fundraising drive for a $35-million, 1,200-seat on-campus facility that could open as soon as 2025.
The proposed ballpark would be built on Guardsman Way at the site of the current Utah Baseball practice field. It would replace Smith’s Ballpark as the school’s baseball home, as main tenant Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A; Pacific Coast League) has announced plans for a new ballpark in suburban Jordan. The city is currently evaluating future uses for Smith’s Ballpark, which includes the very really possibility the facility comes down in 2025, when the Bees set up shop in its new home.
minor league baseball team as its primary home park since 1996.
“We’re very appreciative of the terrific partnership we have enjoyed for nearly three decades with the Salt Lake Bees and the City for our baseball program to play its home games at Smith’s Ballpark,” said Director of Athletics Mark Harlan via press release. “This is also a tremendous opportunity for us to finalizing our quest to find an on-campus home for Utah Baseball that has been pursued for nearly 10 years.”
The new facility will be basic: a capacity of 1,200, concessions, restrooms and ticketing offices, as well as team facilities like clubhouses, team spaces and coaches offices
The university has been evaluating potential sites for a new ballpark on campus for nearly a decade. The process began with as many as eight potential sites, narrowed to five by a study in 2019, including two locations on Guardsman Way. Keeping the ballpark on Guardsman Way, according to the school’s chief facilities officer, Robin Burr, fits into the school’s plan to keep campus sporting venues located along two key corridors—central campus and Guardsman Way.
“The goal and purpose for this location on Guardsman Way is that it provides the most beneficial site for our baseball program and our fans,” Harlan continued. “For our student-athletes it is situated in close proximity to other Athletics facilities, including our dining facility in the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center, and for our fans it provides ample parking and ease of access on game days.”
Conceptual rendering courtesy University of Utah.
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