Local news recap: MLB team, plane crash, and a new Hale Theater  

Reading Time: 3 minutes Utah is a cultural hotspot with new and exciting things happening left and right. Here are a few local news stories to be aware of.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

MLB dreams 

Rumors of Utah getting a Major League Baseball team have been circulating since Salt Lake City was labeled the “center of attention” for an MLB expansion in late 2023. Led by the Larry H. Miller Company, a “broad-based community coalition,” under the name Big League Utah, has been participating in planning and executing an MLB team.  

On Thursday, plans for a “Power District” on North Temple in West Salt Lake City were proposed as a possible location for a new stadium. The suggested vacant plot of land spans nearly 100 acres and is primarily owned by Rocky Mountain Power. LHM spokesperson Amanda Covington told KUTV that the location is “strategically placed right between downtown Salt Lake City and the international airport.”? 

The addition of an MLB stadium is still in speculation, but development on the Power District will reportedly begin this year, kickstarting with the construction of a new headquarters for Rocky Mountain Power.  

Excited Utahns are taking to social media to share their thoughts on naming the potential team in hopes the rumors will come to fruition. Many suggestions reflect characteristics that make this state unique.  

Utah’s state bird inspired two popular contenders: the “Salt Lake Gulls” and “Seagulls.” In contrast, the “Salt Lake Cutthroats,” is receiving attention from those who would prefer to pay tribute to the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout, Utah’s official state fish.  

A third candidate would move away from Utah’s flora and fauna and would instead honor a monumental moment in Utah’s history. The “Salt Lake Golden Spikes” would be a reminder of the golden spike, which completed the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869 at Promontory, Utah.     

Look out below! (or out the front window) 

On Feb. 10, a small aircraft pilot had to decide on the fly to “land” his plane in the front yard of a Spanish Fork residency. The plane reportedly suffered from engine failure, and the pilot was unable to make it back to Spanish Fork Airport. Fortunately, both male passengers were unharmed. 

Justin Morrill, who owns the home on the crash site, told ABC4 News that he was sitting in his home watching TV, and noticed his dogs were acting strange when they entered the room. “I’m just surprised they didn’t hit any of the power poles or lines, or, luckily, hit into our house,” he said. “I look out my front window and I see the plane on the front yard,” Morrill continued. “Then I see all the emergency vehicles there, so I came out and checked it out, and thank God nobody was injured.” 

The pilot was reportedly able to make a mayday call after hearing the engine sputter; however, the system completely failed shortly after. The cause of the failure is unknown.  

Once it was determined that it wasn’t plausible to attempt to make it back to the Spanish Fork Airport, the pilot tried to redirect the aircraft to an open field. In his account, Spanish Fork City Public Information Officer Nick Porter told ABC4 that the plane “clipped a powerline and skidded through a Spanish Fork field” before ending up in Morrill’s yard.  

The plane will likely be considered a total loss, as it has suffered damage to the wing and has spilled oil and fuel. However, other damages caused by the crash are estimated to total $350,000.  

The Hale Theater in Orem is getting an upgrade 

The Hale Center Theater, which has been in Orem for over three decades, is about to undergo some major changes.  

According to the theater’s website, “After 30 years of creating theatrical memories, the Hale Center Theater in Orem has found a new home on the d?TERRA campus in Pleasant Grove.” The “world-class” edifice will also be renamed to The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater or “The Ruth” for short.  

“This $55 million dollar facility marks a new era of world-class theater in Utah and a significant investment into the local economy,” its website says. “The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater will bring together the best of Utah talent, creating a home for the arts that will endure for years to come.”  

A 10,000-square-foot Grand Theater set to have 670 seats is the main attraction. It will accommodate grandiose productions and be a place to celebrate artistic storytelling.  

The Studio Theater will mimic the Hale Theater’s original Orem venue, which people have loved for decades. It will be “home to the more intimate titles of the main stage season,” which includes the youth academy season, Ruth Hale’s comedies, and other works meant to be enjoyed in such a space.  

The Education Center will be home to the new Ruth Academy. The allotted 6,000 square feet will be dedicated to several spaces to rehearse, record, and learn about performing arts.  

Finally, the Club Lounge and Ballroom will provide space for private events, pre-show gatherings, and more. It will accommodate up to 300 guests and even include a rooftop club patio.  

The Daily Universe reports that many employees, patrons, partners, and community enjoyers are excited about the new facility, though they will be sad to say goodbye to this one.  

The Ruth at d?TERRA is set to open during fall 2024.