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The City Journals

Reopened park scores assist from Utah Jazz

Dec 01, 2016 02:45PM ● By Travis Barton

A ribbon cutting was held to commemorate the new Jazz court and the renovated Bingham Junction Park on Oct. 27. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

The Midvale Redevelopment Agency (RDA) joined with the Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Charities on Oct. 27 for the grand re-opening of Bingham Junction Park at 6980 S. River Reserve Court. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to unveil the 15th completed Jazz court along the Wasatch Front. 

“We’re thrilled to have the Jazz, they love doing these courts and it’s a great investment for the community,” said Danny Walz, Midvale Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Director.

Hundreds of people were there to commemorate the event that included bounce houses, food trucks, balloon animals and face painting. About 30 Junior Jazz youth players were invited to participate in a short basketball clinic with Jazz forward Joel Bolomboy and coaching associate DeSagana Diop. 

One of those youth players was Brody, 7. His mother, Marie Reed, said it was exciting for the kids to get to know the Jazz members like Bolomboy, Diop and meet the Jazz Bear. 

“The clinic itself is really cool. My son doesn’t know how to play basketball so to get a taste of what you can learn from the pros is even better,” Marie said. 

Marie’s husband, Alan, said he liked seeing the Jazz committed to sparing no expense for the event. Alan remembered as a former Junior Jazz youth having Jazz players come to an event, but not as well conceived. 

“I’m pretty sure when I did it, John Stockton or Jeff Hornacek showed up, dribbled the ball a few times, took a couple shots and walked out of the gym,” Alan said. “So now you can tell they’re invested in the overall experience.”

It wasn’t only the basketball court that was refurbished. The park—originally constructed in 2006—suffered from poor drainage and a lack of amenities. Walz said the playground often had six inches of water. 

“The new playground equipment is much better than the one we had,” Walz said. “We’ve got an active park that [the community] can actually come out and use.”

In 2014, the RDA began to allocate funds for improvements to the park with total construction costs reaching $1.5 million. 

Tourism, Recreation, Cultural and Convention (TRCC) funds totaling $665,000 were received from Salt Lake County for the new softball field. The park will be owned and maintained by Midvale City, but the county will program softball leagues on the field. 

“With all the developments and skyscrapers coming in around here, [the park] will be great for the surrounding community,” Midvale City Mayor JoAnn Seghini said. 

Additional amenities to the park’s redesign are a new play structure, sledding hill, expanded parking with improved lighting, restrooms and a storage building. Located adjacent to the Jordan River Parkway, Seghini said it’s in a perfect location. 

“People can stop here as they walk or bike the trail…It’s a great place for families to come here and grow up together,” Seghini said. 

Walz said working with the Jazz, Larry H. Miller Charities and the county was an awesome experience. 

A new Jazz basketball court came about from a $25,000 contribution from the Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Charities. The contributions were made by employees with chairwoman Gail Miller making a matching donation. The 5,600-square-foot court was painted in Jazz colors with the team’s logo in the center with six basketball hoops surrounding the court. 

Jay Francis of the Larry H. Miller Group was on hand to express the group’s happiness at adding another Jazz court to the Wasatch Front. 

“You can see with the housing around here, it’s just going to be used a ton and we’re excited to be part of this,” Francis said to the crowd shortly before the ribbon cutting. 

City officials expect the renovated park to benefit the Midvale community for years to come. 

“Our hope is that they come out here and enjoy it as an amenity and it gives them something they probably want and need in this part of the neighborhood,” Walz said. 

Marie said the park is an excellent addition for the youth of the area. 

“It gives [the youth] a safer environment to come play, to encourage them to get out…so it’s really nice that they have a place to come play,” Marie said.