Smith Entertainment Group requests new lease, city blocks for revitalization project

May 3, 2024, 4:54 PM

Signs on the Delta Center welcoming the NHL to Utah...

The Delta Center welcoming the NHL to Utah on April 19, 2024, after the announcement of the Arizona Coyotes move. (KSL TV)


SALT LAKE CITY – Smith Entertainment Group requested a new lease and additional blocks around the Delta Center as part of a revitalization project in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.

SEG’s application to SLC for revitalization project

Through a public records request on Friday, May 3, KSL Sports obtained an application sent to Salt Lake City by S.E.G. that addresses the request to create a revitalization zone project in and around the Delta Center.

The project is intended to reinvigorate the downtown area and renovate the arena to adequately house the Utah Jazz and Ryan Smith’s recently acquired National Hockey League franchise.

As part of the request, Smith Entertainment Group asked Salt Lake City for a new 99-year lease for the block that the Delta Center sits on and requested the agreement be “upon substantially the same rental terms.”

The NBA and NHL ownership group also requested that the city “lease the two additional blocks to the east of the Delta Center” under the same terms as the current arena block.

Smith Entertainment Group’s application declared that the revitalization project would be for no more than 100 acres.

On April 19, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sat with Ryan and Ashley Smith inside the Delta Center for a press conference to officially welcome the new hockey franchise to the Beehive State.

Before Smith’s purchase of assets from the now-dormant Arizona Coyotes, the NHL struggled to find a long-term arena in the greater Phoenix area. The Coyotes called a college arena home from 2022-24.

During the press conference, Bettman said he preferred “no arena drama” in Utah like the Coyotes experienced in Arizona. The commissioner added that government officials assured him there wouldn’t be “arena drama” with Utah’s team.

How will Delta Center renovations impact the Jazz and Utah’s NHL team?

Due to the different sizes of an ice rink and basketball court, Smith Entertainment Group says that “significant remodeling” of the Delta Center is required to “accommodate a dual fan base and an NHL franchise.”

Those renovations will take place during the upcoming NBA and NHL offseasons, according to the group’s application.

The ownership group said it “would be to complete that renovation over several off- seasons” and “upon completion, the Delta Center would accommodate both the Utah Jazz and an NHL franchise team.”

RELATED: Ryan Smith’s Promise Fulfilled As Fans Welcome NHL Team To Utah

Multiple times since obtaining the NHL team, Smith has called the franchise a “community asset.”

In addition to revitalizing the Delta Center, the NBA and NHL owner hopes to revitalize the surrounding blocks in Salt Lake City.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. Listen to Ireland on Yards After College: An NFL Podcast. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Smith Entertainment Group requests new lease, city blocks for revitalization project