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Winning designs chosen for SLC ballpark's future

Posted at 9:33 PM, May 31, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — 4,600 people voted in the Ballpark NEXT design competition, in the hopes of deciding the future of Smith's Ballpark.

Oscar Arvizu’s design for the Ballpark was inspired by his father who passed away recently from Alzheimer’s.

“The biodome was a thought because I always needed a place," he said. "He loved gardens and walking around, and it would have been nice during wintertime to be able to take my father to a garden to an open space like that, a beautiful space."

The Salt Lake Bees will soon be making a new hive in Daybreak, while their current home city is deciding what to do with the ballpark once they leave. Wednesday night, thousands of dollars were awarded in a contest to pick the best designs.

More than 4,600 people voted in the Ballpark NEXT design competition; Arvizu won the first-place prize in the ‘Resident’ category.

“In Utah, we're surrounded by beauty, these mountains and forests and deserts," he said. "I think we need to start bringing that into our lives.”

There was also a ‘Student’ and ‘Professional’ design winner, which Tessa Arneson, founder of the Maven District, took first place in, for her vision, which includes a women’s multi-sport venue called “She Plays.”

“I have two little girls," said Arneson. "I want them growing up to be in a space that they can actually see women going after in a professional sport way, or even at an amateur way.”

The votes are in and the community has selected three final designs for the future of Smith’s Ballpark, but nothing is set in stone right now, and there will still be an opportunity for community members to make their voices heard.

“It sounds like the city isn't necessarily going to stick to any of these visions, but they really want to pick themes, which we're really happy about," said Arneson.

During Wednesday night’s ballpark community meeting, residents expressed that their biggest concern right now is the ballpark sitting vacant while the design is finalized.

“I think everybody wants to make sure something gets built and quickly," said Arneson. "So it doesn't become a sad empty space.”