The big question remains: what will the city ultimately do with the future former home of the Salt Lake Bees?
After two months of accepting entries, weeks of sifting through the most compelling ideas, and 10 days for the public to vote, the Salt Lake City Ballpark Next design competition concluded Wednesday with the announcement of three winners.
The city launched the contest in January, the same day the Larry H. Miller Co. announced it would be moving its minor league baseball team, the Salt Lake Bees, to Daybreak in South Jordan after the 2024 season.
In all, the city received 123 entries with ideas for the future of the 1300 South and West Temple location, where the Bees have played for decades.
[Read more • See all the submissions to the Ballpark Next design competition. Which do you like best?]
Since public voting for the contest began on May 16, the city has collected approximately 4,600 votes for nine finalists in three categories.
“This competition has generated a variety of ideas and concepts that will serve as inspiration for the ballpark’s future,” Mayor Erin Mendenhall said in a press release. “The Salt Lakers, particularly the dedicated residents of the Ballpark area, are clearly passionate, creative and insightful.”
The professional category winner will receive $15,000, the student category winner will receive $10,000 and the residential category winner will receive $5,000.
Here’s who gets away with the batter:
Pro Category Winner: She Plays Here Ballpark
Maven District, along with Colmena Group and Kimball Investment Co., submitted a proposal to convert the existing ballpark into a women’s sports venue. The design envisages creating a rectangular playing field on the existing playing field, which leaves enough space for a softball stadium in the right-hand corner of the playing field.
The proposal calls for West Temple to be used as a festival street, add a library on Main Street, make room for food trucks, and convert the property north of 1300 South into a development with offices, shops, a daycare center, an incubator, green spaces, and a Multi-storey car park with a green roof.
Student Category Winner: The Ballpark
The concept – dubbed “The Ballpark” – by Utah State University students Nicholas Tate Barney, Jacob Owen Huff and Logan Hall also called for leaving the stadium and repurposing it as a home for shops and restaurants. It would turn the infield into a courtyard and the outfield into an area with an ice rink and walking trail.
A residential development called “The Dugout” would be built across the street from 1300 South, connected to the stadium by a pedestrian bridge.
Residential Category Winner: SKYGARDEN
Oscar Arvizu’s SKYGARDEN concept would use the existing stadium footprint and include shops and restaurants with an elevated park above. A large biodome would be created on the outfield, which would be open to visitors year-round. Arvizu says the concept can potentially use part of the existing ballpark.
Over the next few months, the city will continue its public engagement by gathering additional community feedback.
“The completion of the Ballpark Next design competition,” said Mendenhall, “marks the beginning of a robust community engagement process that will provide many opportunities for public participation.”
The municipality intends to issue an official call for development proposals by the end of the year.
There is no guarantee that finalists’ ideas will be incorporated into final development.
Specifically, the mayor has said she wants the location to generate activity in the neighborhood year-round, not just during baseball season.
Editor’s Note • Tessa Arneson, founder and CEO of Maven District, serves on the board of directors of the nonprofit Salt Lake Tribune.