Oregonian Columnist Bill Oram Compares Big League Utah To Portland Group
Apr 14, 2023, 1:18 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – The proposed future site of pro baseball in Utah may not look like much today, but many factors could give Big League Utah an advantage over other challengers.
Bill Oram, a sports columnist with the Oregonian, joined Hans & Scotty on the KSL Sports Zone to discuss his column on the advantage Utah has over Portland in the battle for an MLB expansion franchise.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) April 14, 2023
“Portland made a splash about five years ago. A few celebrity backers and cool branding,” Oram remembered. “The announcement from (Big League Utah) yesterday. Seeing how comprehensive and how cohesive it was got me thinking about the Portland Diamond Group and how little we’ve heard from that group over the last two or three years.”
Oram continued the comparison, “You look at the growth in Salt Lake and how organized Salt Lake always is when it comes to pursuing sporting events and now sports teams. It feels more actionable than what we’ve heard out of the Portland group over the years.”
Dale Murphy has gotten good at hyping cities for MLB expansion, only now it’s Salt Lake instead of Portland. What does his pivot say about the state of the Portland Diamond Project? New @oregonian column: https://t.co/MsdYTRK0HW pic.twitter.com/TuaFPjfvp3
— Bill Oram (@billoram) April 13, 2023
Oram cited the addition of MLB and Atlanta Braves legend Dale Murphy to the Salt Lake coalition as the ‘cherry on top’ of Salt Lake’s pitch.
“I’ve got photos of Dale Murphy in the Portland Diamond Project from years past as a consultant. He’s from Portland and having him switch allegiances was a little bit telling.”
Salt Lake More Viable MLB City Than Portland
If reports are true that Big League Utah has been told Nashville is considered an eastern city when it comes to expansion plans, that means Salt Lake is likely competing primarily with Portland for a western expansion team.
With the financial backing of Gail Miller and the Larry H. Miller Company and the support of city and government officials, Utah has a lot going for its bid.
Hey, @MLB, want to come to Utah?
Excited to join stakeholders of the Big League Utah campaign today — an effort to expand professional sports in Utah. We’re committed to working together to show the MLB that Utah’s the best place for a new Major League Baseball team! This will… pic.twitter.com/bi6SYc44ed
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) April 12, 2023
“I love the idea of going to a Major League Baseball game on the banks of the Willamette River, that is a dream come true,” Orem said. “Salt Lake is so organized. Has the financial backing and the buy-in of the city and government. The idea of having the governor and the mayor on stage with Gail Miller yesterday, that’s a level of cohesion that the Portland group hasn’t had.
“I look at Salt Lake, at this moment in time, as a more viable location,” Orem stated.
Take us with you, wherever you go to learn more about Big League Utah.