Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith is bringing the NHL to Utah

Smith is making good on his promises of building the professional sports industry in Utah.
The National Hockey League is coming to Utah. Following weeks of rumors and hearsay, the NHL Board of Governors overwhelmingly approved the formation of a new hockey team in Utah. While formally referred to as a new franchise, it will essentially be the sale and relocation of Arizona Coyotes personnel and players under a new name.

The NHL’s public relations statement notes, “The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors today approved the development of a franchise in Utah beginning with the 2024-25 season, which will be owned and controlled by Smith Entertainment Group, led by Ryan and Ashley Smith. In addition, the Board authorized a proposal to inactivate the Arizona Coyotes franchise, with the option to reactivate if owner Alex Meruelo completes a new, state-of-the-art building suitable for an NHL team within five years.

The authorized agreements will result in the Coyotes franchise transferring the entirety of its existing hockey assets, including its full Reserve List, roster of players and draft picks, and Hockey Operations Department, to the Utah team upon closing.”

The sale is allegedly worth $1.2 billion. Ryan and Ashley Smith stated about the acquisition, “We are committed to building a Stanley Cup-caliber team and are thrilled to welcome incredible players, coaches, staff, and their families to Utah.” Today is a terrific day for Utah, hockey, and creating a legacy that will benefit future generations.”


The Arizona Coyotes’ name and branding will remain in Arizona with the inactive organization, necessitating a new name and brand for the Utah NHL team. Ryan Smith has actively sought opinion from Utah residents on the team’s name. According to NHL insider Pierre LeBrun, the team’s name will be Utah, not Salt Lake City.

The team’s name may not be finalized until after its first season in Utah. The Smiths and Smith Entertainment Group (SEG) now own the majority of the Utah Jazz, Real Salt Lake, Utah Royals, and the new NHL team. With this purchase, SEG has applied to collaborate with Salt Lake City to develop a sports area that will host numerous franchises and arenas. According to Blake Apgar of the Salt Lake Tribune, “Smith has indicated that he wants to build an NHL-specific arena” in the Sports District. Until a new arena is completed, the team will play at Delta Center.

The Arizona Coyotes have struggled, making the playoffs just once in the last twelve years. That said,



They have a team filled with young talent and a number of draft picks. This year, the “Yote’s” won 36 games, the most in the previous five seasons. They finished the season by winning five of their previous seven games and waved goodbye to their fans in Arizona.
The 2024-25 NHL season will start in October 2024. Fans can now make deposits for season tickets at nhlinutah.com. SEG, the Smiths, the Delta Center, and the NHL will hold a press conference tomorrow, April 19, to share further information about the new franchise.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.