(ABC4) – News broke in the baseball world that the Oakland Athletics may be looking to relocate elsewhere if they don’t receive support for a new stadium in the Bay Area.
The team, known as the A’s, has played in Oakland since 1968, but its current ballpark, RingCentral Coliseum, has fallen into a state of disrepair and is considered to be outdated and poorly outfitted for the future of the franchise.
The organization has pitched a new stadium proposal to the city, but it has been in a state of limbo for years.
If it is not approved, Major League Baseball has given the team its blessing to seek a new home.
That news set local social media ablaze with hopes that the A’s could seek greener pastures in Utah, the hashtag #MLBtoSLC, which has been a discussion before, had a new life locally on Twitter with Tuesday’s announcement from California.
Of course, the Salt Lake area already has baseball representation, albeit, in the minor leagues. The Triple-A Salt Lake Bees began the 2021 season last week after a 600-plus day absence from playing due to the pandemic. Utah’s capital city has a rich tradition of professional baseball that dates back nearly 120 years, all at the minor league level.
The minor league clubs in the city have been a stopping ground for some of the best talent at the big leagues, including Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout and Baseball Hall of Famer David Ortiz, who both spent time playing ball in Salt Lake City on their way to stardom.
The Ogden Raptors, a longtime affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, have also seen many future baseball stars come through town.
Should Utah really be interested in welcoming the A’s, or any other MLB team to the Beehive State, it will have to beat out several other markets that are considered heavy favorites to land a top-tier franchise.
Nashville, Portland, Las Vegas, and Orlando are listed by many experts as the frontrunners for relocation, with some of those cities already having proposals and investors in place.
ABC4 reached out to the A’s for comment on which markets they would consider and if Salt Lake City would be on a short list of possible relocation sites. The call was not immediately returned as of Wednesday.