KSL Unrivaled’s Pitch For The Athletics To Come To Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake City and Utah sports fans really want another major pro sports franchise in order to feel like a big-time sports town. The Utah Jazz are amazing and Real Salt Lake has a great fanbase but adding a team from one of the big four sports leagues is what people want.
KSL Unrivaled made an unsuccessful pitch to get the Raiders to come to Salt Lake or even host them in the preseason. Now, there is another opportunity to lure in an Oakland-based team to SaltLake City and it is the Athletics who have been given permission to look for a new home. The reason for a new home is due to the shape of the Oakland Coliseum.
“The future success of the A’s depends on a new ballpark,” A’s owner John Fisher said in a statement. “Oakland is a great baseball town, and we will continue to pursue our waterfront ballpark project. We will also follow MLB’s direction to explore other markets.”
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Salt Lake and the Wasatch front has shown support to teams with a trio of minor league clubs like the Salt Lake Bees, Ogden Raptors, and before MLB restructuring the Orem Owlz.
Supporting the Oakland Athletics is quite different than a few minor league teams as it requires a brand new stadium that will cost a ton of money, the need to fit about 35,000 fans per game and for 81 games.
Not So Fast, Salt Lake City
In early reports, there are six cities named for consideration. They are Vancouver, Montreal, Nashville, Charlotte, Portland, and Las Vegas. The odds are favoring Sin City over the rest as the A’s officials plan to tour Las Vegas in the near future, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Las Vegas is the first city the A’s are planning to visit, the sources confirmed. Part of the reason the A’s plan to visit Southern Nevada first is because reaction to the team possibly moving to Las Vegas has been overwhelmingly positive within the local community.
KSL TV’s Dave McCann is a former Las Vegas resident and believes they are the front-runner to land an MLB team, and a lot of has to do with gambling no longer seen as a taboo subject.
“Everyone throws Vegas around because they’ve been so successful with hockey and now the Raiders are there,” McCann said. “They have broken down the barrier of they put the Raiders in there and they found a way to sell all the tickets. And not just by Las Vegas, because there’s the influx of Raider fans from all over the place. So I don’t know if there’s an influx of A’s fans. It would come in for games but what they’ve done is they’ve broken the barrier for Vegas because Vegas, whatever you water is alive and whatever isn’t, is dead.”
However, KSL Unrivaled provides a counter-argument for the passion for baseball in Utah and if the Athletics were to move to town there is enough of a sports fanbase that would follow and support another major sports franchise. An MLB team would make Salt Lake City more of a major sports city.
“It’s one of those things that further legitimizes Utah and there’s always been a passion for baseball here,” Mitchell said. “I mean, a lot of these minor league teams, one in Ogden, Salt Lake, and Orem, so there’s an interest for baseball. I think you have a Major League team it would be awesome. I believe people would get behind it like they get behind the Utah Jazz.”
“This is a place that loves sports and really is dying for even you know, even if it’s baseball, which isn’t the most popular, I think I think folks would own it.”
Numbers speak and the early indication that Salt Lake will not be in the mix to land the Athletics. The process is still very early and perhaps the state of Utah and Salt Lake City can make a pitch to bring an MLB team to town. Now is the perfect time since the Utah Jazz are the top seed for the NBA playoffs and Vivint Arena will be rocking with fans throughout the playoffs which could perhaps sway Athletics ownership.