Big League Utah Positions Salt Lake City and a Shovel-ready Site as the Ideal Location for the “Future of America’s Pastime”
Rocky Mountain Power Breaks Ground on Phase I of the Power District
SALT LAKE CITY (April 12, 2023) – The Miller family and the Larry H. Miller Company have convened a broad coalition of Utah leaders to position Salt Lake City as an ideal market for Major League Baseball (MLB). Big League Utah, a broad-based community coalition, believes Utah is the “Future of America’s Pastime.” Like baseball’s brightest stars, Utah is a 5-tool player for its growth, economy, location, sports culture, and quality of life. 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.
“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. “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. “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.”
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. “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.”
Utah has the highest median income of potential MLB expansion markets and outperforms other like markets in both ticketing and sponsorship revenue. A family-friendly state, Utah is also a leader in youth sports programs, including the Junior Bees, the largest MiLB youth program with 20,000 participants and growing and the Junior Jazz, launched in 1983, is the longest-running junior NBA program.
“Salt Lake City is distinctly ready to be Major League Baseball’s newest home. The infrastructure we already have in place – from our world-class international airport, to our robust public transit system, our hotel and hospitality sectors, and our arts, culture and entertainment community – make us a perfect fit for this evolution,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said. “Our capital city and the residents of North Temple near the Power District are poised for an investment like this, and I welcome the opportunity to keep growing this cultural and economic hub of our great state and region.”
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.
“For nearly seven decades, Mortenson has been shaping skylines across the country while building a reputation as the best and most respected name in sports construction,” said Narjes, construction manager for the Power District. “We understand the high level of skill, knowledge and expertise required to develop and build complex projects. A well-designed and expertly constructed facility can positively influence revenue generation, performance and operations, the fan experience, and create lasting community impact.”
“After playing nearly two decades in the MLB, I know what it takes for a city to successfully host professional baseball. Salt Lake City has it all: a young and growing population, a prime ballpark location, a booming economy, and a dedicated community of supporters,” said Dale Murphy, two-time MVP and former MLB player.
Big League Utah invites baseball fans of all ages to join the effort and to visit www.bigleagueutah.com to learn more.
About Big League Utah
Big League Utah is a broad community coalition led by the Miller family. It consists of Utah’s federal, state and local decision-makers, business and community leaders, former MLB baseball players, and potential investors. Coalition members are united behind the effort to welcome an MLB team to Salt Lake City. For more information, visit www.bigleagueutah.com.
Founding Big League Utah Coalition Members
Business & Community
Scott Anderson – President & CEO, Zions Bank
Rob Bishop – Former Utah Congressman
Fraser Bullock – President & CEO, Salt Lake City-Utah Committee for the Games
Lew Cramer – CEO, Colliers International
Spencer P. Eccles – Eccles Family
Jay Francis – President & CEO, South Valley Chamber
Kem Gardner – Chairman, Gardner Company
Natalie Gochnour – Director, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
Gary Hoogeveen – President & CEO, Rocky Mountain Power
Derek Miller – President & CEO, The Salt Lake Chamber
Gail Miller – Co-founder & Owner, The Larry H. Miller Company
M.A. Mortenson Construction
Todd Pedersen – Founder, Vivint Smart Home
Taylor Randall – President, University of Utah
Jeff Robbins – President & CEO, Utah Sports Commission
Tagg Romney – Co-founder & Managing Partner, Solamere Capital
Blake Roney – Founder, Nu Skin Enterprises
Sidni Shorter – President & CEO, Utah Black Chamber
Ryan and Ashley Smith – Owners, Smith Entertainment Group & Utah Jazz
Steve Starks – CEO, The Larry H. Miller Company
Vicki Varela – Managing Director, Utah Office of Tourism
Spencer Zwick – Co-founder, Solamere Capital
Governor Spencer Cox
U.S. Senator Mike Lee
U.S. Senator Mitt Romney
Congressman John Curtis
Congressman Blake Moore
Congressman Burgess Owens
Utah Senate President Stuart Adams
Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson
Utah Senator Luz Escamilla
Utah Representative Mike Schultz
Utah Representative Angela Romero
Utah Representative Sandra Hollins
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall
South Jordan City Mayor Dawn Ramsey
Salt Lake City Council Member Victoria Petro
Sports & Entertainment
Marc Amicone – President, Salt Lake Bees
Ty Burrell – Actor
Dave Checketts – Sports & Media Executive
Jeremy Guthrie- Former MLB Baseball Pitcher & 2015 World-Series Champion, Kansas City Royals
Molly Mazzolini – Partner & Director, Infinite Scale
Dale Murphy – Former MLB Player, Two-Time MVPSteve Young – Three-time NFL Super Bowl-Winning Quarterback, Member of College and Pro Football Halls of Fame
About the Larry H. Miller Company
Headquartered in Sandy, Utah, the Larry H. Miller Company (LHMCO) oversees the Miller family’s portfolio of businesses and investments, including the Salt Lake Bees, Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres, Larry H. Miller Communities, Larry H. Miller Senior Health, and Prestige Financial. LHMCO has recently led several acquisitions, including Daybreak and Destination Homes, while also investing in Lendio, Run Buggy, and Aqua Yield. Most recently, LHMCO acquired a majority stake in Swig, the fast-growing customized drink and treats company. For more information, visit www.lhm.com.
About the Salt Lake Bees
Since 2005, the Miller family has owned the Salt Lake Bees, the Triple-A affiliate for the Los Angeles Angels, and continues to invest in the franchise. LHMCO recently announced it would build a new MiLB ballpark for the team in Daybreak, a master-planned community in South Jordan, Utah. Utah wouldn’t be the first MLB market to host both an MLB and MiLB team. At least five MLB teams have Triple-A affiliates in the same market.
The Millers and LHMCO are advocates for Utah as the State of Sport and continue to support its efforts to attract another Olympic Winter Games, have built leading youth sports programs around baseball and basketball, and secured two NBA All-Star Games. Their mission is to enrich lives. They believe professional sports unify communities and create economic development opportunities. Visit www.milb.com/salt-lake.
About Rocky Mountain Power
Rocky Mountain Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. The company supplies customers with electricity from a diverse portfolio of generating plants including hydroelectric, thermal, wind, geothermal and solar resources. Rocky Mountain Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity providers in the United States, with two million customers in six western states. For more information, visit www.rockymountainpower.net.