The Utah Jazz have agreed to be sold by the Miller family to Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith for $1.66 billion. The deal will include Vivint Arena and is pending approval from the NBA Board of Governors.
The Millers have owned the Jazz for 35 years. Larry Miller passed away in 2009 at the age of 64 with his widow Gail Miller running the team in the subsequent years.
Smith is a lifelong resident of Utah who sold Qualtrics to SAP for $8 billion.
Smith has a longstanding relationship with the franchise.
“I’ve approached Gail and the Millers a couple times,” Smith said at a news conference Wednesday morning inside Vivint Smart Home Arena. “There’s no secret about my interest in the NBA, and there’s really no secret about my interest in the Jazz.
“I grew up watching the Jazz. This is the team I cheered for. I played Junior Jazz. I dreamed of playing for the Jazz, and that didn’t work out. But as I was sitting there this week in the Junior Jazz program you guys started, with hundreds of kids running around, the legacy you’ve created is untouchable. We’re all incredibly grateful for that. The Jazz are a gift to this whole community, and that’s how we view it. That’s 100 percent how we view this.”