We hinted at this possibility earlier, and now it’s public, as the Miller family and the Larry H. Miller Company have launched a coalition of Utah leaders to bring MLB to Salt Lake City, under the Big League Utah effort.
The coalition has targeted a shovel-ready site for a new MLB ballpark at the 100-acre Rocky Mountain Power District on Salt Lake City’s west side. Earlier we looked at this potential effort: “So why not speculate on Larry H. Miller Company bringing MLB to Salt Lake City? The NFL seems unlikely and there’s no indication that any NFL expansion is on the table. While MLB expansion is inevitable, it looks like the NBA will become the next major sport to expand, with teams reportedly lined up for Las Vegas and Seattle. Still, there are some reasons to think MLB in Utah is not the craziest idea.”
Definitely not the craziest idea.
“We believe in the power of sports to elevate and unify communities,” said Gail Miller, co-founder and owner of the Larry H. Miller Company, via press statement. “Larry and I risked everything to acquire the Utah Jazz, and it was a tremendous honor to ensure it thrived as a model franchise. We now have an opportunity to welcome Major League Baseball to Utah and invite all Utahns to join us in this effort.”
The coalition includes Utah’s federal, state and local decision-makers, business and community leaders, former MLB baseball players, and potential investors.
“Over the past year, we have enjoyed our ongoing conversation with Major League Baseball and have formally registered our interest in Salt Lake being considered an expansion market,” said Steve Starks, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Company via press release. “We have strong reasons to believe we will be a viable candidate. The response has been universally enthusiastic as we have invited others to join the coalition. Anytime you’re in the running to add a professional baseball team to your market, you jump at that opportunity. Baseball becomes synonymous with great cities across this country. It helps form their identity.”
According to the group, recent data shows that 82 percent of the sports-going public in Utah believe that Utah should be considered a possible expansion market for professional sports and that Major League Baseball is considered the most family-friendly professional sports option for Utahns surveyed.
“Utah has the strongest economy in the country, is a top 30 media market, and is the fastest-growing state with the youngest population,” said Utah Governor Spencer Cox via press release. “These are the ingredients for a Major League Baseball market. As the Crossroads of the West, Utah has successfully hosted large sporting events, like the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and two NBA All-Star Games and is home to thriving professional and collegiate sports teams. We boast of the Greatest Snow on Earth, five national parks and 46 state parks. We are on the radar and pushing as hard as we can.”
On April 12, Rocky Mountain Power broke ground on Phase 1 of its Power District Project, which includes a new headquarters for the company. A 100-acre mixed-use development, the Power District is projected to transform the area located on the west side of Salt Lake City into a modern, sustainable, and vibrant space for businesses, fans and residents alike.
“The Power District is ideally located between the Salt Lake City International Airport and downtown,” said Gary Hoogeveen, Rocky Mountain Power Chief Executive Officer. “A ballpark within our new development will be uniquely situated near I-80 and North Temple, along UTA’s light rail line, and have stunning views of the city’s skyline and Wasatch mountains.”
Mortenson, led by General Manager Sarah Narjes, who oversaw the construction of Truist Park for the Atlanta Braves, is the general contractor for the first phase of the Power District and has proven expertise in professional sports venue construction. Rocky Mountain Power and Mortenson have partnered with the Larry H. Miller Company and Big League Utah to help attract Major League Baseball to Salt Lake City.
Rendering courtesy Big League Utah.