We don’t yet have a complete plan for a new on-campus ballpark at the University of Utah, but we do have a name, as the school’s sale of naming rights gives us America First Ballpark.
The school turned to a familiar player in the local naming-rights scene for the deal. America First Credit Union already holds naming rights to America First Field, home of MLS’s Real Salt Lake, and has committed to naming rights to the new ballpark for the Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A; Pacific Coast League) planned for the Downtown Daybreak development in 2025.
Like the Bees, the Utes are departing Smith’s Ballpark at the end of 2024. The new $35-million, 1,200-seat ballpark is scheduled to open for the 2025 NCAA season. America First Ballpark is set to be located on the site of the current Utah baseball practice field on Guardsman Way.
America First Ballpark will feature fan amenities like concessions, restrooms, ticket office and merchandise sales, as well as facilities for the Utah baseball program, including locker rooms, coaches’ offices, medical space, equipment storage and indoor batting/pitching cages.
“We are incredibly grateful for the tremendous partnership between America First Credit Union and Utah Athletics,” said Mark Harlan, Director of Athletics, via press release. “This generous investment by AFCU to name our on-campus baseball stadium is another demonstration of their strong commitment to supporting our student-athletes and our athletics programs, and an illustration of the excitement around bringing Utah Baseball back to campus. It further extends AFCU’s ongoing support of not only Utah Athletics but the entire University of Utah community. These types of partnerships elevate each organization, and we are extremely grateful. America First Ballpark will be a shared community asset.”
“America First is grateful for our continued and expanded relationship with Utah Athletics as their official credit union and now naming rights partner for the new baseball stadium,” said Tammy Gallegos, Chief Marketing and Strategic Engagement Officer at America First, via press release. “We believe our two organizations are hitting a home run in creating meaningful experiences for the community and helping our athletes and members alike build a bright financial future one inning at a time.”
The design phase of America First Ballpark is underway, and construction is expected to begin this winter.
Rendering courtesy University of Utah.