Millions requested to attract MLB, NHL and Olympics to Utah

Feb 2, 2024, 4:40 PM | Updated: Feb 3, 2024, 11:12 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Sports Commission has requested $4 million from the state to attract and host national and international sporting events.

Utah is currently courting Major League Baseball and National Hockey League franchises and the 2034 Olympics.

As Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission said, “A lot has happened in a year.”

Robbins went before the Business, Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee Friday morning. 

“Have 735 events that were summer events. That’s unheard of. IOC has never seen a legacy program like we have created here,” Robbins said.

The ask was a one-time payment in 2025 for $4 million with more money to follow. 

Robbins said Utah is in a coveted position locally, statewide, nationally and globally in sports. He said the 735 summer events outside of the Olympics are largely unheard of, which sets Utah apart.

Since October, he said more than 70 events the commission has worked on have made an economic impact of about $600 million and global media value bringing in almost $1 billion.

Robbins said money now puts Utah at the forefront of attracting the Olympics and other sporting events.

“We’re moving in a direction that I think is unprecedented in the history of Utah and sports. Sports has become such a huge economic driver — such a huge image builder — statewide for us,” Robbins said. “Positions us in the global marketplace that you almost can’t put the dollars on.”

Robbins said this is all about vision.

He mentioned the commission is talking to representatives from FIFA next week about bringing training centers for the World Cup to partner with Real Salt Lake and the University of Utah.

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Millions requested to attract MLB, NHL and Olympics to Utah