116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Spring Mobile Ballpark – Salt Lake City, Utah
Aug. 10, 2011 7:14 am
PNC Park. AT&T Park. Two places known nationally for the spectacular views from the ballpark. Less known, but equally spectacular, is the setting at Spring Mobile Ballpark in Salt Lake City, Utah, home of the Salt Lake Bees (Utah is the Beehive State), the AAA affiliate of the Angels in the Pacific Coast League.
Spring Mobile Ballpark opened as Franklin Covey Field in 1994. A double-deck, standard-sized AAA facility, that seats 15,500 people, it's located just south of the downtown Salt Lake area. The Bees have been affiliated with the Twins (1994-2000) and the Angels (2001-Present). The Bees were first known as the Salt Lake Buzz, but a lawsuit from the Georgia Institute of Technology lead to a name change in 2001 to Stingers. The Stingers name was dropped in favor of Bees in 2006. The stadium is also the home of the University of Utah Utes baseball team in the spring.
The exterior of the ballpark is nice, but once inside the park the Wasatch Mountains off to the east dominate the setting. This presents some problems early in the year when snow has been known to wreak havoc on the home slate, but by summer time the weather warms up and snow is still visible on the mountains.
On my visit to Salt Lake in summer 2011, it was Green Week, which included green jerseys for the Bees and green Bees t-shirts handed to fans at the park. Other ways that the Bees attract fans include hiring "The Balloon Granny" to make balloon characters and shapes for kids at the ballpark (free of charge, tips accepted), and a local tourist railroad, the Heber Valley Railroad sponsors a "train" (little motorized train-looking-thing with seating pulled behind) which continually runs from foul pole to foul pole in the outfield.
When fans walk out of Spring Mobile Ballpark they likely take home many memories of a visit to see the Bees. Tops among those is one of the best views and settings at any ballpark, at any level of professional baseball, in the country.