The Miller family is ending their three-decade run as the owners of the Utah Jazz as they have officially entered into an agreement to sell the team and Vivint Smart Home Arena, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Miller family has owned the team for 35 years.
The Jazz will be sold to Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith for $1.66 billion, who is a longtime Jazz fan and Utah resident, who founded Qualtrics and sold it for a reported $8 billion.
“I’ve approached Gail and the Millers a couple times,” Smith said at a news conference Wednesday morning, per the report.
“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.”
“Now there’s been a lot of attention given in recent years to my putting the team in a legacy trust,” Gail Miller said. “This was done in connection with my estate plan, with the objective of assuring our loyal fans that the team would remain in Utah. I am fully convinced that with this sale, the objectives of that trust will still be honored, and I want you to know the new owners have made the same commitment to keep the team in Utah.”
“There’s no question that we have had a long and rewarding journey these last 35 years,” Miller said, growing emotional as she spoke. “Today is a day I have never been able to imagine.”