Ryan Smith, SEG Formally Requests NHL Expansion Team To Utah

Jan 24, 2024, 9:38 AM | Updated: Jan 25, 2024, 10:43 am

SALT LAKE CITY – Smith Entertainment Group announced that they sent in a request to the NHL to kickstart the expansion process with the ultimate goal of bringing a hockey team to Utah.

SEG believes that Utah would be ready for an NHL team as soon as next season.

Ryan Smith, chairman of Smith Entertainment Group and governor of the Utah Jazz, said that he wants the NHL to expand to Utah as soon as possible.

“SEG envisions a near future where the NHL will thrive in Utah, and we are 100% focused on making this happen as soon as possible,” Smith said. “We are passionate about sports and entertainment in the state and are committed to providing premium sports and entertainment experiences for the people of Utah and visitors from around the world. We are ready to welcome the NHL and are confident that the time and attention being spent by all parties will bring one of the most exciting and dynamic leagues in the world to our community on a permanent basis.”

The team would either temporarily call Delta Center home or wait to begin play until a new hockey arena finished construction. The location for the prospective hockey arena is undecided at this time.

The NHL released a statement on SEG’s formal request.

Governor Spencer Cox, Ryan Smith Speak On NHL To Utah

Utah Governor Spencer Cox joined the KSL Sports Zone to talk about the future of sports in Utah and what the next decade will look like as SLC prepares to host the 2034 games.

He remained optimistic on the possibility of an MLB and NHL franchise calling Utah home.

RELATED: Salt Lake City Is ‘Preferred Host’ For 2034 Olympics. What Does That Mean?

“The next ten years, (we are) going to transform from a sports perspective,” Cox said. “For Major League Baseball, I think the chances of that happening are still very good. I think the chances of NHL happening are very good as well.”

In the past, Ryan Smith hinted at his interest in bringing an NHL to the state of Utah. Back in April, Smith quoted a post on X from KSL Sports’ Sam Farnsworth about bringing the Stanley Cup Playoffs to Utah, saying “in motion”.

RELATED: Jazz Owner Ryan Smith Hints NHL To Utah ‘In Motion’

Pat McAfee host of one of the most popular sports shows online (and now TV) had Smith in the studio to discuss the Utah Jazz, the NBA, and the potential of bringing professional hockey to Utah.

McAfee recently visited Utah with the College GameDay crew for the matchup between Utah and Oregon and was thoroughly impressed by the sports community of the Beehive State.

READ MORE: Salt Lake City Made A Big Impression On ESPN’s Pat McAfee

McAfee asked Smith about his goals when it comes to owning more teams.

“I’ve talked to Gary (Bettman, NHL commissioner) a bunch,” Smith said. “There’s no secret about how hockey would do there.”

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Ryan Smith, SEG Formally Requests NHL Expansion Team To Utah