Utah House committee advances bill aimed to help bring MLB stadium to Salt Lake

Feb 23, 2024, 4:00 PM | Updated: Feb 26, 2024, 10:22 am

a rending of what a MLB baseball stadium in salt lake would look like...

FILE: Renderings released Wednesday depict what a new Major League Baseball stadium could look like in the Power District located on North Temple in Salt Lake City, according to Big League Utah, a group described as a broad community coalition. (Big League Utah)

(Big League Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah House committee has voted to advance a bill aimed at getting a Major League Baseball stadium to the westside of Salt Lake City, as well as doing other restoration projects in the area.

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On Friday, the Utah House Government Operations Committee voted 8-2 in favor of HB 562, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden.

The bill’s plans line up well with those of the Larry H. Miller Company. Both are designed to bring an MLB team to Salt Lake City, as well as transform the west side.

“This gives us an opportunity to talk about the restoration district,” Wilcox said. “To take what is now an industrial, in many cases a blighted, area and be able to lift that.”

A new MLB stadium would cost $1.8 billion. The state would cover one half, the Larry H. Miller Company would cover the other half, according to Wilcox.

Wilcox said the Millers would own the team, but the state would own the land.


Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall spoke in favor of the bill.

“It will be the most phenomenal, transformational investment the west side has ever seen,” Mendenhall said.

The money from the state would come from a 1.5% rise in the transient room or hotel room tax, and the rental vehicle tax. However, Wilcox told KSL NewsRadio those hikes wouldn’t come until if and when Utah gets an MLB team.

Some people, mainly from southern Utah, voice concern with the plan. 

Josh Sutton, a lodging executive with St. George-based Wittwer Hospitality is concerned about the rise in certain taxes.

“I do not think we should be increasing transient room tax, car rental tax and other various taxes outside of the county where the project is taking place for something that will largely benefit one area of the state,” Sutton said.

The hotel room tax would rise 0.1% immediately upon the bill’s signage, but that money would go towards helping search and rescue operations in rural Utah. Wilcox said this is a part of the legislation because residents of the Wasatch Front are predominately in need of help in rural areas of the state.

Wilcox said the money for an MLB stadium wouldn’t come until the state gets a franchise agreement. The bill would first focus on getting the ball rolling on restoration projects around the Utah State Fairpark and the Jordan River.

Those in attendance at Friday’s committee hearing were mostly in favor of the bill, though not everyone was.

The bill passed in committee and is now headed to the full House for a vote. If passed, the bill will take effect on May 1, 2024.


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Utah House committee advances bill aimed to help bring MLB stadium to Salt Lake