MLB To SLC: LHM Group Announces Attempt To Bring Major League Baseball Team To Utah
Apr 12, 2023, 12:18 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – The Larry H. Miller Group and other local leaders are set to announce an attempt to bring an MLB franchise to Utah.
“On Wednesday, the Miller family and the Larry H. Miller Company announced a coalition of Utah leaders has been convened to position Salt Lake City as an ideal market for Major League Baseball. Big League Utah, a broad-based community coalition, said it believes Utah is the “Future of America’s Pastime” and 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,” read the press release.
MLB to SLC?? 👀
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) April 12, 2023
According to a report from ESPN, the coalition to bring Major League Baseball to Utah includes LHM, Dale Murphy, Jeremy Guthrie and other local business leaders.
“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,” Steve Starks, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Company, said in a statement. “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.”
Starks teased some type of announcement with a throwback picture posted to Twitter.
New Profile Pic pic.twitter.com/KVTQpKOvCc
— Steve Starks (@StevenStarks) April 12, 2023
“We believe in the power of sports to elevate and unify communities,” Gail Miller, co-founder and owner of the Larry H. Miller Company, said in a 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.”
MLB Expansion Discussions
Major League Baseball has said they aren’t ready to discuss expansion until the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Oakland Athletics lock down stadium plans, but that doesn’t mean owners and fans aren’t ready.
Starks said one of the most important steps in moving forward on a potential MLB stadium build in Salt Lake City has already been accomplished, with a site identified on the Rocky Mountain Power parcel on the city’s west side.
The coalition is open to an expansion or a team looking to relocate.
The Salt Lake Bees, a triple-A baseball team in Utah, announced their move to Daybreak in January.
The Larry H. Miller Company owns the minor-league baseball team and plans to build a new stadium south of their current home in South Salt Lake.
Daybreak is a “master-planned” community in South Jordan, Utah.
We’ll have a new hive in 2025.🐝
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) January 17, 2023
NHL Commissioner Met With Jazz Owner Ryan Smith
Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith recently met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman according to Elliotte Friedman.
The article written by Friedman, a leading hockey insider for SportsNet Canada, detailed the interest between the NHL and the Jazz’s Smith. The meeting came after the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting last Tuesday in New York.
“That night, according to multiple sources, Bettman had dinner with Ryan Smith, owner of the Utah Jazz,” Friedman wrote. “This is one to watch. When Fenway bought the Penguins, Smith was rumoured as another potential purchaser. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but I was told to keep his name on my radar, because he’s interested in the NHL — and the NHL is very interested in him.”
Friday 32 Thoughts Podcast and Blog links. Enjoy both! Written: https://t.co/trW9IBqP7T
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) March 31, 2023
Last October, Smith announced Arctos Sports Partners was buying a minority share in the Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), the entity that owns the Jazz, and hoped to bring a fifth professional sports team to the state of Utah.
Smith didn’t reveal which major sports league the group was eyeing. Sources told KSL Sports that the NHL was the league most likely to expand into the state.
“Salt Lake City hosted the excellent 2002 Winter Olympics and is considered the favourite to do it again in 2030. That could lead to new facilities, including a future home for the NBA team and an NHL brother.”
Jazz fans are the best. ❤️
Packed house sat afternoon! pic.twitter.com/zg0YE6CnIW
— Ryan Smith (@RyanQualtrics) April 8, 2023
“A very, very sharp guy, [Smith] and New Jersey Devils co-owner David Blitzer are majority partners in MLS Real Salt Lake and, earlier this month, announced the return of a NWSL franchise to the city,” Friedman added.