I don't see this happening but interesting thought experiment

Saw this on KSTU’s website. I think it the topic of MLB and Utah has been discussed before.

I just don’t see an MLB team in Utah, either through expansion or relocation. I don’t know if the demographics are there to support a team.

Here is another story from ESPN.

$2 Billion for the new franchise fee.

Figure the stadium will cost $1 Billion ro $2 Billion (and will inevitably demand tax breaks AND public money to build).

Add to the fact there are several existing MLB franchises that are bleeding like severed carotid arteries, and maybe having an MLB franchise isn’t a great idea.

I get these guys want to rub elbows and shoulders in the “Big Kid Clubs.” That stated, with a population of less around two million in the sports fan footprint, we would be a small market franchise playing a game where only the biggest of markets actually field competitive teams. More than likely, Utah would see a team like the current iteration of the Oakland A’s - competitive occasionally, but definitely not on their way to a World Series anytime soon.

Then again, they could do what the D-backs or the Marlins did and “rent” a World Series Championship, only to sell off the parts in the off-season to pay off the salary cap hit for the next 20 years.


Here in Denver with a good downtown stadium, the team is rarely competitive but usually top 5 in attendance. If SLC builds a right-sized great stadium, it’ll be a good experience. Utah has younger population but might be pretty spread out to get afternoon business folks up from Lehi moxed with SLC and in between.

Unfortunately, Rockies need a new owner (Ute grad), otherwise, they keep trading away good players once they get better and cost too much. Also hard to get great pitchers since their numbers will suffer at altitude. Utah would likely be like the Rockies.


Still on a high from the Utah field announcement, but I could see myself with a pair of season tix. Hope it happens.

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I’m very skeptical that SLC would get an MLB franchise. I think the market is too spread out as opposed to other options available to MLB, and I think places like Charlotte will be viewed as sexier options. But you never know.

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They didn’t hold a press conference today without doing their groundwork.

They’ve been working on this for over a year, it’s not “hey we hope this works” thing.

So have all the competitors.


Given all the financial moving pieces in sports right now creating unpredictable revenue streams t support new franchises; and what would be a helluva large public investment (with a Winter Olympics on the way needing public investments, too); AND the current public investments being made t build the new stadium for the AAA team, it seems like we are looking to take a state surplus that should be getting used to improve educational facilities, fix roads, and generally operate the state in times of recession and depression and turn it into a deficit.

The public fund have been committed to the Olympics and the back room deal for the new minor league stadium is enough for now. Without stabilizing the TV deals, streaming deals, and other revenue streams, it’s too big a risk to take with public money right now. Sound bad to put it this way, but “Butts in Seats” won’t be enough to pay for this.


How many new baseball teams will they add?

so Gail Miller is going to construct a new AAA ballpark at Daybreak in South Jordan while simultaneously trying to land a MLB team in the Rose Park area? I’m skeptical.

This sounds like an attempt to soften/dampen the bad PR she and the Miller family got from announcing the Bees move from 13th South.


The Commish said he would like to get to 32. With 30 now, there’s probably the A’s moving to Las Vegas and Tampa Bay could move (maybe one of these Eastern spots like Nashville, Charlotte, etc.). That leaves 2 that would be expansion.

Do many cities have a MLB AND a AAA team? No, except maybe Sugar Land (Houston). Some of these could be potential future MLB cities, but probably good to move the AAA team. No way SLC could do both. Some AAA teams are nearby to their affiliate and are good pairs (Tacoma for Seattle Mariners, Buffalo for Toronto, Jacksonville for Miami, the NYY/NYM/Red Sox farm teams, etc.). Some of the larger AAA teams could be a spot for one of 2 expansions (or up to 2 moves): Charlotte, Nashville, Ok City, Austin (seems content with UT/AAA level of things), Vegas (A’s?), SLC, …

But all of them seem marginal in size and support. Agree above that public money shouldn’t be put towards this unless it’s just a loan, esp. with another Winter Olympics likely coming.

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I can assure you it’s not.

See the Trib’s article, they were working on this long before the decision to move the Bees was made.

Yes, but you also have to read between the lines.

There are 5 total cities interested.

MLB wants to expand by 2 teams, they also are looking to move 2.

Then you have the Angels, the team whose owner said he was going to sell, before backtracking. Who do the Angels have long term business partnerships with?

The math works. Is it a done deal? No. Is it just a pipe dream? Not by a long shot.

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A potential problem I see is relative population densities. Portland seems like the biggest west coast competition, assuming LV will wind up with the A’s since LV has a solid history of stealing things from Oakland. Multnomah County Oregon has a population density of about 1,900/sq mile. SL County’s is only about 1,600/sq mile. There are also about a million more people in the metro Portland area than there are in the SL metro area.

While the Wasatch Front does have a population of about 2.6M, it’s spread out along a skinny corridor, making commuting to the ball park a chore. Frontrunner helps to a degree, but per Google Maps it’s 1 hr 17 minutes to get to this site via Frontrunner/TRAX from Ogden, and it’s 1 hr 30 minutes to do it from Orem. That’s not very amenable to including them in the market numbers.

In SLC’s favor is that the population is growing, as opposed to Portland’s which is dropping.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against this or predicting failure. I just don’t think it’s as solid a case, and even if it were there has to be some overcoming of pre-conceived notions about Salt Lake and Utah. The fact is that around the country a lot of people think “Utah” and think “weird place.”


This seems like both a long play by the Millers - though not unrealistic - and maybe a minor marketing move to get better support for the Bees.

IIRC, the Colorado Zephyrs had outstanding attendance for a number of seasons before the Rockies became a thing, it was a no-brainer decision.

I could see this coming together in 5-10 years - look at the population boom of Tooele Valley.

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I only want Nashville to get one if it’s an AL Team. I can drive to Atlanta, St. Louis and Cincinnati easily. The nearest AL team is Chicago or Cleveland.

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None that I know of, yet. But I only just got home and online.

Another comparative: The Tampa Bay Rays, in spite of being on the verge of setting a start of season win streak record, have horrid attendance and are regularly thought to be looking at moving. The greater Tampa Bay Area has just under 3 million residents. They drew about 21,700 to their game yesterday.


I honestly don’t know that there are that many MLB fans in Utah anyway. I think most people here ascribe to my view that baseball is as boring as mom and apple pie - and really only watch the World Series passively.

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Agreed. The governor mentioned that he felt we were well ahead of some other candidates such as Portland. We have a shovel ready sight, near public transport, in a central location, and strong financing. Something some of the other realistic candidates don’t have yet.

Long way to go but we are well positioned right now.