Salt Lake City Mayor’s Office Says SLC As Temporary Home For Oakland A’s Could Be Catalytic
Jan 19, 2024, 12:31 PM | Updated: 2:49 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – The Oakland Athletics need somewhere to play while their new ballpark is built in Las Vegas. Is Salt Lake City positioning itself as the ideal temporary home for the much-maligned franchise?
The A’s lease with the Oakland Coliseum expires following the 2024 season, but their new baseball cathedral in Sin City isn’t scheduled to open until 2028. That leaves three seasons of interim where the A’s are, in essence, without a home.
The @Athletics are visiting the current home of the @SaltLakeBees as the @MLB club searches for a temporary home ahead of its move to Las Vegas, per the @reviewjournal. ⚾️#MLB #Athleticshttps://t.co/ZinhkejQvF
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) January 19, 2024
When asked for a statement regarding reports that A’s officials are expected to tour Smith’s Ballpark, the long-time home of the Salt Lake Bees, in the coming days, the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office had this response.
“Mayor Mendenhall has always said Salt Lake City is a big-league city and thinks Smith’s Ballpark would be a great temporary home for the A’s. Even for a short time, MLB could be a catalytic element for the neighborhood.”
The Bees will open their new home in 2025, leaving Smith’s Ballpark without a tenant. As the city searches for ideas to revitalize the area without a finalized plan for the ballpark, serving as a placeholder for the A’s franchise could benefit all parties.
The statement continued, “Mayor Mendenhall takes seriously her commitment to residents of the Ballpark neighborhood and is eager to move forward with a long-term strategy that prioritizes year-round activation of that property. We can’t comment on any ongoing conversations around Major League Baseball at this time, but very much look forward to the day when big-league baseball is being played in Salt Lake City.”
MLB schedule makers are expected to release the 2025 season schedule in July this year, fueling speculation that a decision isn’t far off. MLB and the MLB Players Association would have to approve any location before the Athletics temporary home could be finalized.
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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s coverage of the Bees, Big League Utah, and Aggie athletics here.