MLB Baseball May Be Closer to Utah Than You Think.
Like hockey, baseball is another professional sport in which the beehive state has taken an extreme liking too.
The Larry H. Miller Company, the previous owners of the Utah Jazz, announced in April of last year that they were forming “Big League Utah”.
This is a community dead set on bringing professional baseball right next door to the good folks of Utah.
The MLB hasn’t expanded since 1998, and in that 25-year span, Utah has emerged as a perennial front runner to land a squad.
Salt Lake City is booming, The Jazz are demonstrating powerful Utah fandom, the NHL is possibly on the way and equipped with a raring to go stadium location proposed under the Wasatch Mountain, Utah is now an early favorite to land a new team.
The downside is that expansion is often a long-drawn-out process and there is no timetable for when that expansion team could show.
Utah has shown intent and dedication to making it happen, but it ultimately is in the hands of Major League Baseball.
Thankfully for baseball fans here, the Miller Group has refused to stand still until the MLB makes a move.
Wanting to act fast, all eyes shifted to the Oakland Athletics.
If you're no stranger to happenings in baseball, the Athletics are leaving Oakland for the bright lights of Las Vegas.
So why is Utah thrown into the mix?
The move to Vegas is exciting, but everything moved so quickly that the A’s are in a pickle.
The lease at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum will be dried up after this season (2024) and their new home may not be so accommodating while they build a new stadium in Vegas.
That shiny new stadium is not expected to be complete until 2028 and if your good at math, you’ll realize that’s multiple seasons in which the A’s will be homeless.
The triple-A affiliate, Las Vegas Aviators, have a gorgeous ballpark that will sit 8,196 yet will likely run into heavy scheduling conflicts with the A’s throughout the handful of years in which they would have to play there.
This has led to Athletics leadership to look for a contingency plan as they wait for their new forever home to finish up.
Bring in the Larry H. Miller Company, who hosted those baseball big wigs days ago and made a sales pitch in favor of Utah, and more so, South Jordan:
With an alluring new stadium to break in before the big move, no doubt they were impressed.
But Utah isn’t the only option. The A’s have also explored Sutter Health Park in Sacramento, a current home of a minor league squad.
With a supposed bidding war on the horizon between South Jordan and Sacramento, the Miller company took the next step and responded with a thunderous display of billboards:
Listen, it may not have worked for Gordon Hayward, but it’s the best we got.
Who knows what’s on the horizon, maybe a banner hanging from a plane?
Jokes aside, the Larry H. Miller company seems to be doing all they can to land the rental responsibility of the Athletics.
Why all that work for a team that is Vegas bound?
It's simple. Utah wants an MLB team, and what better way to show the MLB that Utah is big league ready then by taking care of an MLB team right here and now.
If fans and the state show support for a temporary team, imagine how they will embrace a brand next expansion team that is their very own.
It could be dangerous, disappointing and revealing pertaining to what the future of pro baseball looks like here for sure.
Danger and uncertainty have never bothered the Millers before, and if you look at their previous gamble in the Jazz, they have good reason to believe the fans will back them up again.