Miller Family Selling Majority Control Of Utah Jazz To Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies announced they are selling majority control of the Utah Jazz to Qualtrics Co-Founder and CEO Ryan Smith. The move is a significant change for the franchise which has been owned by the Miller family outright since 1986.
Smith has been a prominent figure in Utah’s tech industry and has been working closely with the Jazz as a sponsor for the last several seasons.
“Smith has been a strong corporate partner of the Utah Jazz for many years and was co-creator of the “5 For The Fight” jersey patch, the first philanthropic jersey patch in the history of North American professional sports,” The release said. “5 For The Fight has raised over $25 million since the patch partnership was announced just three years ago.”
“I have known Ryan for several years and admire the values by which he and his wife Ashley live their lives,” said Gail Miller.
“They have such love for and a connection to Utah and this team. Because of our friendship and several high-level conversations over the years, Ryan recently approached our organization to inquire about the possibility of purchasing the Utah Jazz and some of our other sports and entertainment properties. After much soul searching, lengthy discussions and extensive evaluations of our long-term goals, my family and I decided this was the right time to pass our responsibility and cherished stewardship of 35 years to Ryan and Ashley, who share our values and are committed to keeping the team in Utah. We have every confidence they will continue the work we have undertaken and move the team to the next level. Our family remains invested in the success of the Utah Jazz and these businesses, and we will retain a minority interest.”
According to the release, the transaction will include the Jazz, Vivint Arena, the Jazz G League affiliate the Salt Lake Ctty Stars, and management of the Triple-A baseball affiliate Salt Lake Bees.
“The Miller family has had an unbelievable impact on countless people through the Utah Jazz and the other organizations they run,” said Smith. “We all owe a great debt to the Miller family for the amazing stewardship they have had over this asset for the past 35 years. My wife and I are absolutely humbled and excited about the opportunity to take the team forward far into the future – especially with the greatest fans in the NBA. The Utah Jazz, the state of Utah, and its capital city are the beneficiaries of the Millers’ tremendous love, generosity and investment. We look forward to building upon their lifelong work.”
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the deal is worth $1.6 billion
The final sale is expected to be submitted to the NBA Board of Governors by the end of the year.
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