Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Supports NHL To Utah Stadium Proposal

Feb 29, 2024, 3:12 PM

NHL Hockey being played at the Delta Center in Utah...

NHL Hockey being played at the Delta Center in Utah (Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints released a statement regarding the NHL stadium proposal currently in the Utah legislature. 

NHL expansion has been a hot topic in the state since Ryan Smith, owner of the Utah Jazz and chairman of the Smith Entertainment Group formerly requested that the league put a franchise in the state in January.

“The Church has always demonstrated interest in making sure Utah’s capital city remains vibrant and attractive, both for those who live and work here as well as those who visit,” a spokesperson from the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints said.

“As a stakeholder in the downtown community, where the Church’s global headquarters is positioned, we’re pleased with the potential this has to refresh and revitalize downtown Salt Lake City while presenting a safe and family-friendly gathering place for generations to come.”

Smith Proposes Downtown Arena

Earlier this week Smith shared the drawing of the revitalized arena amid his bid to bring an NHL franchise to the state of Utah.

The rendering shows a glass-front multi-purpose arena lined by storefronts leading to the building.

“Downtown Salt Lake City is the heart of Utah,” Smith wrote. “Our efforts are not about an arena, it’s about revitalizing a downtown that desperately needs investment. Imagine a downtown experience like this with the NBA / NHL at its core.”

The Utah state senate advanced a plan to fund an NHL stadium and a “sports and entertainment” district downtown, which includes a sales tax increase of up to 0.5% in Salt Lake City.

The proposal would also allow the increased tax money to fund either a new NHL stadium, renovations to the Delta Center, or both, and infrastructure investments for a yet-to-be-determined area that the city council would designate.

Smith has said that an NHL team could immediately begin play at the Delta Center while they explore options for a long term solution for a hockey arena.

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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.

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Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Supports NHL To Utah Stadium Proposal