Salt Lake City has succeeded in uniting the state and Salt Lake County behind a study to find the best place for a new baseball stadium.
But not without a catch.The state expects the consultant to study all sites along the Wasatch Front, not just those in downtown Salt Lake City.
In a meeting Tuesday, Gov. Norm Bangerter said every available site between Ogden and Provo should be considered for a stadium to replace aging Derks Field.
County Commission Chairman Jim Bradley, who was meeting with the governor to discuss another project, agreed.
But Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini said the $75,000 set aside by the three governments for the study is enough to hire a consultant to study only the four sites already identified by city planners. Three of those sites are downtown. The fourth is the Derks Field site, 1300 South and West Temple.
If the study includes a site in any other city or in the unincorporated county, that city or the county will have to bear the extra cost.
"We've put our money up," Corradini said, adding she doesn't think it would be fair for the city to pay to study a site outside its limits.
If anyone comes up with such a site, the mayor's baseball task force will have to give its approval before the consultant is asked to examine it, Corradini said.
"Then that community will be expected to pay the cost," she said.
Bangerter believes the state shouldn't help pay for a study that benefits only Salt Lake City.
"I just don't feel comfortable putting in money (for something) that's a slam dunk for one city," he said. He said Salt Lake City likely has the inside track for the stadium, citing the support of the downtown business community.
Corradini hopes the loose city-county-state coalition eventually will lead to an agreement to divide the cost of building a new stadium three ways. She also hopes a wealthy philanthropist will help. The city has pledged $3.7 million from the sale of bonds to help with construction.
But county officials have said they won't pay to build a stadium unless it is either on the Derks Field site or in the unincorporated county.
City officials say their involvement will end as soon as a decision is made to build outside city limits.
"Use your imagination, if a stadium site was selected outside Salt Lake City, guess how much money we'd put in?" said Thom Dillon, Corradini's executive assistant.
The city has studied building a stadium since Corradini condemned two sections of Derks Field earlier this year. An engineering report said the sections were in danger of collapsing.
In addition to Derks Field, the city has identified a lot west of the Delta Center; a city block along 400 South, across from Pioneer Park; and a city-owned lot at 900 South and 300 West as its favorite sites for a new stadium.