Former Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller is leading a Salt Lake City group that wants to bring an MLB expansion franchise to the city in the coming years, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Wednesday.
The group, named Big League Utah, consists of former MLB players and Utah residents Dale Murphy and Jeremy Guthrie, as well as the Larry H. Miller Company founded by Gail’s late husband.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told ESPN in July that he’d “love” to get the league to 32 teams, and Salt Lake City now joins Las Vegas, Nashville, Portland, Charlotte, and Montreal as cities reportedly interested in a potential bid.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is a strong advocate for an MLB team in Salt Lake City. A survey conducted by the Miller Company found Salt Lake City locals picked MLB as their favorite sports league and top choice for an expansion franchise.
Cox told ESPN, “It would just be meaningful for people who love this sport, who care deeply about it. We’re a baseball state.”
The Miller Company also owns the Los Angeles Angels Triple-A affiliate the Salt Lake Bees, whose 2022 average attendance (5,873) was the 18th-highest in the minors.
Big League Utah aims to build an MLB stadium in the 100-acre Rocky Mountain Power District between Salt Lake City’s airport and downtown.
In 2021, Manfred suggested a potential MLB expansion fee would cost $2.2 billion.