ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

What happens next in the effort to get Utah MLB, NHL team?

Mar 13, 2024, 1:00 PM

A digital rendering of The Power District, which would include a mlb stadium in salt lake...

A digital rendering of The Power District, as proposed by the Larry H. Miller Company. (Larry H. Miller Company)

(Larry H. Miller Company)

SALT LAKE CITY— Efforts to bring Major League Baseball and National Hockey League teams to Utah are continuing. 

Amanda Covington, the chief corporate affairs officer for the Larry H. Miller Company spoke with KSL NewsRadio about the latest in their effort to get a Utah MLB team.

Efforts to get a Utah MLB team

The company announced a massive $3.5 billion plan to revitalize Salt Lake City’s west side. Specifically, the revitalization would be around the Utah State Fairpark, near where they want to build a new stadium.

State lawmakers followed up by passing HB 562, which pledges around $900 million in taxpayer dollars for a new stadium. That money would come from increased state rental car taxes and other revenue generated in the new Fairpark District.

If Utah gets a team, the other $900 million would come from the Larry H. Miller Company. 

Covington said they believe Utah is ready, and having the state’s support helps.

“We are a ready market, we’ve checked the boxes and we want to show Major League Baseball that Utah is absolutely ready,” Covington said. 

“We wouldn’t have this vision or have been working as hard as we have…if we weren’t confident that this is the very best market for an expansion team,” Covington said.

Covington said they want to focus on collaborating, especially with people on the west side.

Additionally, in effort to score a Utah MLB team, they are keeping in contact with the MLB Commissioner’s Office and working to build a good relationship with them.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred previously hinted at an expansion. However, it likely won’t happen until the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s solidify their long-term homes.

What about NHL?

There isn’t a concrete timeline for funding and building a new NHL stadium. It could also serve as a new home for the Utah Jazz.

The legislature passed SB 272, which helped open the door for funding the stadium. The money would come predominately from a 0.5% increase in the city’s sales tax rate.

Even if it’s signed by the governor, the tax hike would still need the approval of the Salt Lake City Council.

Smith Entertainment Group submitted an official request to the NHL to bring an expansion team to Utah in January. Whether or not that request is approved comes down to the NHL’s board of governors.

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What happens next in the effort to get Utah MLB, NHL team?