Ballpark community discusses neighborhood’s future after Salt Lake Bees 2025 exit

Mar 13, 2023, 5:55 PM | Updated: 7:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A critical meeting for the Ballpark community in Salt Lake City to discuss what comes next after the Salt Lake Bees baseball team leaves town in 2025.

The meeting started at 6 p.m. on Monday just a few blocks north of the stadium at a local business. Those who organized the meeting said they hoped to spend a little time grieving over what they lost and then move forward to what comes next.

“We need a dialogue. We need the opportunity to host questions and answers to what is happening with this Ballpark Next contest and does the contest relate to what the city is going to actually finally do with the ballpark site and stadium,” said Amy J. Hawkins, chair of the Ballpark community council and meeting organizer.

It was back on Jan. 17th that Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced the Larry H Miller group was moving the Bees to South Jordan and would be building a new stadium in the Daybreak area.

Salt Lake City officials immediately unveiled a website and announced a $30,000 contest called Ballpark Next, where people across the country could submit plans and ideas of what to do with the 13-and-a-half-acre site. That contest ends on Friday.

Salt Lake City Mayor Mendenhall tells KSLTV they have about 50 entries so far.

“The whole purpose is not that somebody is going to submit something, and that becomes the plan, not at all. It’s really to get energy and ideas around what could happen,” Mendenhall said, “We need an activation that supports the community 365 days a year. That’s my highest priority, but beyond that, we don’t yet know what will come.”

The mayor plans to attend the meeting and is pushing for something people can enjoy all year, rather than just baseball season.

Fraser Nelson, who also helped organize the meetings, said it really needs to be a community decision.

“This is really a place that is poised for greatness, and we want to take this opportunity of this change to make sure we are moving forward as a community, as a neighborhood, in partnership with the city and in partnership with those who want to invest in our community,” she told KSLTV.

Jordan Menzel, a ballpark community member and another meeting organizer feels the same way.

“As a city, we truly have a community-driven solution to this really big opportunity,” he expressed.

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Ballpark community discusses neighborhood’s future after Salt Lake Bees 2025 exit