Gail Miller To Sell The Utah Jazz To Ryan Smith, Co-Founder Of Qualtrics
The Utah Jazz are being sold to Ryan Smith, co-founder of Utah-based Qualtrics.
Gail Miller, owner of the Larry H. Miller Group, and her family made the announcement Wednesday. The sale will also include Vivint Arena, the NBA G League Salt Lake City Stars, and management of the Salt Lake Bees, a Minor League Baseball team and Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.
Miller has overseen the Jazz and other sports properties for nearly four decades.
“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 [Smith] and [his wife] Ashley, who share our values and are committed to keeping the team in Utah,” Miller said in a statement.
During a press conference announcing the sale, Miller said through tears this was a day she never thought would come. However, her family will retain a minority share of the team.
Smith has been a corporate partner of the team for years and is credited with helping create the “5 For The Fight” jersey patch, a non-profit aimed at fighting cancer. The team announced the organization has raised over $25 million since the patch first arrived on Jazz jerseys three years ago.
“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,” Smith said in a statement. “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.”
Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson weighed in on the sale, thanking the Miller family for their contribution to the state. “They stepped up when the team's connection to Utah was in jeopardy, built an arena, and, for more than three decades, never failed to represent us with class and dignity,” Wilson tweeted.
The closing still needs approval from the NBA Board of Governors which is expected to happen by the end of the year. Miller said her group will also sell The Zone Sports Network but through a separate transaction.
The terms of the Jazz sale weren’t made available, however Forbes valued the team at $1.55 billion in February.
The Larry H. Miller Group will still oversee its dealerships, real estate, financial services and Megaplex Theaters.