Jazz Owner Ryan Smith Believes Utah Could Support Another Pro Sports Team

Oct 19, 2022, 11:30 AM

NHL and MLB logos side by side...

NHL & MLB logos (Photo: Getty Images)

(Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake owner Ryan Smith spoke candidly about the potential of another pro sports franchise in Utah.

As of late, it appears Smith, who started Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), is all in on the sports business. Shortly after purchasing the Utah Jazz, he was part of a group that bought Utah’s MLS club, Real Salt Lake.

“When we started SEG we made the decision that we were going into sports and if we are going in, we are going in,” Smith told DJ and PK during an exclusive interview on KSL Sports Zone.

He talked about the partnership with David Blitzer, who is the other part owner of Real Salt Lake. Blitzer’s group also owns part of the Sixers, New Jersey Devils and Cleveland Guardians.

“We just brought in Arctos and this is … what they do. They own pieces of about five or six teams in every league,” Smith gave a peek behind the curtain, “They are in every conversation in sports.”

Can Utah/Salt Lake City Support Another Pro Sports Team? Ask Ryan Smith.

“The one thing I am 100% convinced of is that we can support it in this market, especially if you look at the growth and where it is going,” he said during the interview.

Smith didn’t provide specifics on what sport could come to Utah. Could it be hockey? Maybe, the NHL fanbase in Utah seems strong. Year after year fans pack Vivint Arena for the Frozen Fury, a preseason hockey game put on by the Los Angeles Kings. Just a few weeks ago the Las Vegas Knights beat the Kings in Salt Lake City in front of a large crowd, where jerseys from more than 20 different NHL teams were spotted.

Or, could it be Major League Baseball? Utahns prove year after year that they love evenings at the ballpark in support of MiLB’s Salt Lake Bees, the TripleA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.

“What type of sport is really going to depend on timing and availability. This is a multi-year process,” Smith explained. “For example, if someone wanted a new NBA team right now, no matter how great the market is … it is not overnight. No one knows when that is actually coming.”

Smith explained the options for leagues, which are either relocation or expansion. He confirmed that conversations have been had about the future of another pro sports team in Utah.

“We’re opportunistic and we’re super ready,” Smith gave hope to sports fans in Utah who are rooting for another professional team.

Smith’s goal of creating an “entertainment district” around the Jazz and Real Salt Lake is already beginning to take off with improvements to Vivint Arena, another professional team would add to what Smith Entertainment Group is trying to build.

“This could provide something super powerful and something I think the state needs and definitely could support,” Smith said. “It would be really cool to be a part of that.”

Now the question is, what pro league do you want to see make a home in Utah?

Listen to full interview with Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith on DJ & PK below.

  • Utah Jazz Scoreboard

  • Utah Jazz Team Leaders

  • Utah Jazz Standings

Professional Sports


Kyle Ireland

BYU, Utah Standouts Land In 2024 NFL Mock Drafts

A pair of local college football players landed in the first round of recent 2024 NFL mock drafts published by CBS Sports.

6 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Steelers DB Miles Killebrew Blocks Punt On Thursday Night Football

Miles Killebrew blocked a punt during the Week 14 game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers.

6 hours ago


W.G. Ramirez, AP

Pacers Beat Bucks To Advance To NBA In-Season Tournament Final

The Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday to advance to the championship game in the NBA's inaugural In-Season Tournament.

8 hours ago

Utah Jazz Memphis Grizzlies Lauri Markkanen...

Ben Anderson

Utah Jazz Mailbag: What’s The Latest With Lauri Markkanen?

Welcome to the Utah Jazz mailbag where we answer your most pressing NBA questions: This week, what's the latest on Lauri Markkanen?

12 hours ago

Taylor Hendricks #0 of the Utah Jazz and Salt Lake City Stars...

Chandler Holt

Jazz Notes: Will Taylor Hendricks Stay In Rotation When Markkanen Returns?

With multiple injuries in the front court, Utah Jazz rookie Taylor Hendricks has seen a lot more opportunity in the last week.

17 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

How To Watch Local Players, Coaches In Week 14 Of 2023 NFL Season

Here is how to watch the players and coaches with ties to the state of Utah during the 14th week of the 2023 NFL regular season.

18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

Jazz Owner Ryan Smith Believes Utah Could Support Another Pro Sports Team