POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Legislature approves bill funding Utah MLB stadium, Fairpark District

Feb 28, 2024, 9:47 AM | Updated: 5:15 pm

Utah MLB...

FILE: The Capitol is pictured in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. On Tuesday, Utah lawmakers made a major change to a bill that would fund a Major League Baseball stadium west of Salt Lake City.(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

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 SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday, the Utah Legislature approved HB 562, which would fund a Major League Baseball stadium on the west side of Salt Lake City. The bill also creates the Utah Fairpark Area Investment and Restoration District.

The bill now goes to Gov. Spencer Cox for his signature.

Funding an MLB stadium in Utah

Lawmakers made some changes to the bill’s original language. But they said there are still options to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to build a stadium.

An increased tax on car rentals is one example that remains in the bill.

The bill sponsor, Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, said the idea goes beyond car rentals and taxes.

“This is an opportunity,” he said. “It isn’t like something we’ve had before, probably similar to the Olympics a little bit. Only this one stays. It doesn’t last two weeks and go away.”

Salt Lake City hosted a successful Winter Olympic Games in 2002. Organizers are now vying to host another Winter Olympics in 2034.

To replace the hotel tax lawmakers removed, the bill now allows a portion of sales tax garnered from the Fairpark neighborhood to go toward the stadium.

Unlike a tax increase, using Fairpark neighborhood taxes is an allocation of money spent in the area toward the project.

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Legislature approves bill funding Utah MLB stadium, Fairpark District