LHM Confirms A’s Visit To SLC, Demonstrated Utah Can Accommodate MLB Needs
Jan 19, 2024, 2:10 PM | Updated: Jan 22, 2024, 10:40 am
SALT LAKE CITY – The Larry H. Miller Company and Big League Utah confirmed reports that the Oakland A’s would be considering SLC on their search for a temporary home on Friday.
LHM CEO Steve Starks released a statement saying that Utah and Oakland have been in “regular contact.”
A statement from Steve Starks, CEO of the Larry H. Miller Company, regarding the Athletics visit to Utah Thursday. pic.twitter.com/lq79hYfXPx
— Big League Utah (@BigLeagueUtah) January 19, 2024
“The Larry H. Miller Company is in regular contact with the Athletics,” Starks wrote. “We hosted team officials on Thursday, and demonstrated we can accommodate their ballpark needs. Our organization and the state are excited and able to welcome the Athletics until their new stadium in Las Vegas is completed.”
In April 2023, the Larry H. Miller Group announced the start of an attempt to bring an MLB team and a big league ballpark to Salt Lake City.
Although the A’s wouldn’t stay in SLC long-term, having the MLB in Utah can only be seen as a good sign.“In addition to Smith’s Ballpark, we will have a new ballpark opening in 2025 in Downtown Daybreak, South Jordan, anchoring a sports and entertainment district that features first-class player and fan amenities,” Starks continued. “This new ballpark will support the A’s needs and has been the focus of their interest. It will include breathtaking views of the field and the Wasatch Mountains, is easily accessible from Mountain View Corridor and TRAX, and is in the fastest-growing part of Salt Lake County. Our unique, two-stadium solution would ensure that baseball stays in the Salt Lake market as the Salt Lake Bees return to Smith’s Ballpark for additional seasons.”
— Big League Utah (@BigLeagueUtah) January 19, 2024
Following Big League Utah’s statement, Starks joined the KSL Sports Zone to talk over the reports and what Utah baseball fans can expect moving forward.
Starks was quick to clarify that it isn’t a done deal yet. However, the process has been started and it’s building momentum.
“This isn’t our decision,” Stark said. “It’s the A’s decision and it isn’t finalized yet.”
Starks added that the A’s would play in the Daybreak stadium for the 2025, 2026, and 2027 seasons.
According to Starks, the construction of the stadium in Daybreak is going well and the ballpark would be ready for the A’s in 2025 if they chose to come to Utah.
“Really good,” Starks said. “We toured it yesterday and we’re right on schedule.”
A’s visiting SLC, Smith’s Ballpark during search for temporary home
The Southern Nevada publication reported the A’s upcoming visit to the Beehive State on Thursday, January 18.
Smith’s Ballpark is currently home to the Salt Lake Bees, a minor league team. In January 2023, the Bees announced that they would leave Smith’s Ballpark and relocate to South Jordan, Utah for the 2025 season and beyond. The Bees broke ground on their new ballpark in October 2023.
The A’s are a need of a temporary home after the 2024 MLB season until 2028.
“The Oakland Athletics are making site visits this week as they try to figure out where they will play once their Oakland Coliseum lease is up after the 2024 MLB season,” the newspaper’s Mick Akers wrote. “The A’s will continue their due diligence later this week, the source said. They’re scheduled to visit Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City, home of the Los Angeles Angels’ Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees.”
In addition to the A’s visit to Salt Lake City, team officials also traveled to Sutter Health Park in Sacramento, California, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The Oakland Athletics are making site visits this week as they try to figure out where they will play once their Oakland Coliseum lease is up after the 2024 MLB season.https://t.co/GTCLJk51aG
— Las Vegas Review-Journal (@reviewjournal) January 18, 2024
The Review-Journal added that other potential temporary homes for the A’s include the home of the Las Vegas Aviators, the Reno Aces, and Oracle Park, home of the MLB’s San Francisco Giants.
A’s moving to Las Vegas
In November 2023, Major League owners approved the Athletics’ request to relocate to Las Vegas.
The vote was unanimous.
“There was an effort over more than a decade to find a stadium solution in Oakland. It was John Fisher’s preference. It was my preference,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said of the vote to relocate the A’s. “This is a terrible day for fans in Oakland. I understand that and that’s why we’ve always had a policy of doing everything humanly possible to avoid a relocation and truly believe we did that in this case. I think it’s beyond debate that the status quo in Oakland was untenable.”
Where should the A's play from 2025-2027?
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 18, 2024
The Athletics plan to open their Las Vegas ballpark in 2028.
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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.