Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall Seeks Community Ideas For Ballpark Area
SALT LAKE CITY – What’s next for the site of Smith’s Ballpark, home to professional baseball in Utah since 1928 when Derks Field opened its doors.
The Larry H. Miller Group announced plans to build a new stadium in Daybreak, UT on Tuesday, January 17. The Bees plan to begin play in Daybreak in 2025, following the end of their Smith’s Ballpark lease after the 2024 season.
We’ll have a new hive in 2025.🐝
— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) January 17, 2023
“Now that we have more than 13 acres of prime real estate, it is an unparalleled opportunity to invest in for the people of Salt Lake City and this neighborhood,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said at a press conference held Tuesday morning. “We want the community to be our partner in exploring what should and could come next here.”
“Today we are launching ‘Ballpark Next’. This is our community-driven and creative effort to reimagine the ballpark area and our beloved ballpark itself and the site surrounding it.”
Mendenhall announced the city is offering $30,000 in prize money, split up amongst three categories. Winners are expected to be awarded in May according to Mendenhall.
“My promise to the neighborhood is this. This site will not become an empty pit or a public safety risk,” Mendenhall pledged to the surrounding community. “Salt Lake City is so ready and we are not going to waste any time. The competition is open right now and will remain open for 60 days.”
“This will be transformationally good for the ballpark neighborhood,” Mendenhall concluded. “What I’d like to see is year-round activation that is a benefit to this community.”
Details on the progress of ‘Ballpark Next’ can be found at ballparknext.com.
Details Of The Salt Lake Bees Move To Daybreak
“The privately financed stadium will serve as a year-round entertainment anchor for the fast-growing southwest quadrant of Salt Lake County. Construction will begin this year, and the stadium will open for the 2025 baseball season. Details, including the location, renderings and surrounding amenities, will be released later this year,” reads a release from ownership.
“The Bees look forward to commemorating the next two seasons at Smith’s Ballpark before the current lease expires in Fall 2024. The team is grateful for the long-term legacy of baseball in Salt Lake City and for the incredible fans and surrounding community that support the team,” the release states.
Future of University of Utah Baseball
Smith’s Ballpark has not only been home to the Los Angeles Angeles Triple-A Affiliate Salt Lake Bees.
Since doors opened in 1994, the University of Utah baseball program has called Smith’s Ballpark home.
Asked if the city has been in contact with the University, Mendenhall said, “I fully anticipate Utah will continue to play here for the next two seasons. I reached out to President Randall and we hope to connect about what their ambitions are.”
Mendenhall even speculated that the University could be involved in the activation contest. “You could the University of Utah be one of the applicants. I expect you’ll see a lot of local institutions wanting to see themselves in these 13 acres.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Utah Athletics released a statement regarding their partnership with the Salt Lake Bees.
“Our partnership with the City and the Salt Lake Bees provides a tremendous home field at Smith’s Ballpark for the Utah Baseball program, and we look forward to continuing in that relationship for the next two seasons. We will continue to evaluate and explore all options to determine the best long-term plan for providing a home field for our baseball program that positions the team for success.”