Utah Legislature Passes H.B. 562 Utah Fairpark Area Investment and Restoration District

February 28, 2024

The Utah State Legislature passed H.B. 562 Utah Fairpark Area Investment and Restoration District (U-FAIR), creating a new state district to protect the State Fairpark, rehabilitate the Jordan River, remediate an environmentally sensitive industrial site, and revitalize the long-neglected westside of Salt Lake City. The five-member U-FAIR district board established under this legislation will be empowered to determine land use, recruit businesses, ensure public safety, and leverage growth in tax increment and sales within the zone to finance the improvements within the district. The district will also have the authority to contract for services within the zone, including law enforcement, to ensure public safety.

Additionally, H.B. 562 sets up a framework to build a Utah owned state-of-the-art baseball stadium should Utah secure a Major League Baseball team by 2032. The stadium would be funded using private dollars, state sales tax revenue generated within the district, and rental car taxes, paid for primarily by out-of-state users. Under this proposal, the state would maintain sole ownership of the stadium and stadium land, while the stadium tenant would be responsible for all operations and maintenance costs while making monthly lease payments of $150,000 to the state. 

“The westside of Salt Lake City has long been neglected, and the investments made to the revitalization project will be transformative not only for that community but for the Jordan River and the State Fairpark,” said Rep. Ryan D. Wilcox, sponsor of H.B. 562. “If you don’t run to your position, someone else will. We have a generational opportunity, right now, to communicate in the clearest terms possible that Utah is indeed ready for Major League Baseball. We’re excited for the opportunities H.B. 562 brings to our capital city, our state, and of course, Utah’s families for generations to come.” 

“This bill is a home run for Utah – a grand slam for future opportunities that will span generations,” said Sen. Lincoln Fillmore. “Beyond the thrill of the game, this marks a pivotal investment into the Fair Park District and our state as a whole. The addition of a professional baseball team and expansive ballpark promises to elevate the westside of Salt Lake City to new heights, creating a lasting economic impact and enduring cultural legacy.”

H.B. 562 passed the Utah Legislature with a bipartisan supermajority vote in both houses and awaits the governor’s consideration and signature.

Tags: ,