NBA Approves Sale of Utah Jazz to Tech Entrepreneur Ryan Smith

Date: 2020-12-18 22:46:09

×

The NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the sale Friday of the Utah Jazz to a group led by technology entrepreneur Ryan Smith, ending the Miller family’s 35-year run as owners of the franchise.

The deal includes Vivint Arena, the team’s G League affiliate and management of a Triple-A baseball club. Part of the sales agreement calls for the team to remain in Utah.

“Ryan Smith is a forward-thinking, community-minded entrepreneur and business leader who will be a fantastic addition to our league,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.

Smith is a cofounder of the Utah-based firm Qualtrics, which was sold to SAP for $8 billion in an all-cash deal finalized last year.

He expressed excitement in a statement released through the team. “I grew up as a big Jazz fan, and that makes this day even more special,” said Smith, whose wife, Ashley, is also part of the ownership group. “The Jazz have a phenomenal leadership team who will continue to guide the organization. We are all committed to building, and to building in Utah.”

Larry and Gail Miller bought 50% of the Jazz in May 1985 for $8 million, then bought the remaining 50% the following year for $14 million. Forbes, in its annual valuation of franchises, said the Jazz were worth $1.55 billion earlier this year. The Miller family will retain a stake in the franchise.

The Jazz have the NBA’s third-best record since the 1985-86 season, their .588 winning percentage in that span trailing only San Antonio (.633) and the Los Angeles Lakers (.596).

Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2TwO8Gm

Bloomberg Quicktake brings you live global news and original shows spanning business, technology, politics and culture. Make sense of the stories changing your business and your world.

To watch complete coverage on Bloomberg Quicktake 24/7, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/qt/live, or watch on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV and Android TV on the Bloomberg app.

Have a story to tell? Fill out this survey for a chance to have it featured on Bloomberg Quicktake: https://cor.us/surveys/27AF30

Connect with us on…
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Bloomberg
Breaking News on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BloombergQuickTakeNews
Twitter: https://twitter.com/quicktake
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/quicktake
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quicktake