SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4) – Looking back just under a year-and-a-half ago, both excitement and curiosity soared across one of the nation’s largest master planned communities like a fly ball bound for a home run. Though in this game, that fly ball was the future of 1,300 acres of undeveloped land in South Jordan’s Daybreak community, while the home run was the Larry H. Miller Company’s decision to acquire that land.
Ever since that day, conversations amongst residents of Daybreak have been accompanied by a natural sense of interest as well as a seemingly appropriate touch of speculation concerning the future of their community. In recent days, a newly thought-up talking point has veered out of left field, prompting the idea that the Salt Lake Bees, owned by the very same Larry H. Miller Company that purchased all of that South Valley land, could potentially be Daybreak’s newest resident.
In the last few weeks, reports have begun to surface suggesting that the Bees may be nearing a move to Daybreak as the team approaches the end of their lease on Smith’s Ballpark. Salt Lake City Bees spokesperson Kraig William confirmed with ABC4 that the lease will officially expire following the 2024 baseball season.
Though nothing is set in stone regarding the Bees post-2024, Amanda Hansen, Director of Public Relations for Larry H. Miller Company, tells ABC4 that the company is “currently in a planning phase.”
While Hansen made clear that “no decisions about the long-term home of the Bees have been made,” she did add that the company has started to “carefully consider the investment needed to renovate and modernize the aging ballpark and address safety concerns in the area.”
Though not directly speaking to the possibility of a southern jump for the minor league team, when referring to Daybreak, Hansen told ABC4, “As a landowner, we see a once-in-a-generation opportunity with the southwest quadrant of the Salt Lake Valley. We are exploring opportunities to balance growth, infrastructure demands, jobs and housing needs and how the southwest quadrant could be developed to complement and be additive to the quality of life in Utah.”
While residents of Salt Lake Valley can’t seem to clear the cloud of curiosity hanging over their heads with the timing of the Larry H. Miller Company’s sizable southern valley land purchase and the expiration of a ballpark lease in mind, these two simultaneous events should be considered as nothing more than a simple coincidence — at least for now.
The Larry H. Miller Company’s full statement to ABC4 regarding the future of the Salt Lake City Bees reads as follows:
“Over the past several years, we have worked with Salt Lake City on the future of Smith’s Ballpark. While no decision about the long-term home of the Bees has been made, we will continue to engage with Mayor Mendenhall, her team and other stakeholders as we carefully consider the investment needed to renovate and modernize the aging ballpark and address safety concerns in the area. The Larry H. Miller Company’s mission is to enrich lives, and we are excited about and committed to the advancement of baseball in Utah.
The Larry H. Miller Company is invested in delivering smart growth solutions that enrich and build the community. As a landowner, we see a once-in-a-generation opportunity with the southwest quadrant of the Salt Lake Valley. We are exploring opportunities to balance growth, infrastructure demands, jobs and housing needs and how the southwest quadrant could be developed to complement and be additive to the quality of life in Utah. No decisions have been made; we are currently in a planning phase.”