Utah Jazz, Gail Miller, Ryan Smith, Qualtrics, Larry H. Miller, Utah gree to sell team to Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith
Thank you for your attendance here with us today that i would like to acknowledge and welcome, is first and foremost gail, miller, owner and chair of the larry h, miller, group of companies and the utah jazz ryan smith, the founder of qualtrics and his wife ashley. And this many members of the smith family with us here today we welcome as well gail miller’s children are here, including greg and steve and and brian who couldn’t be with us, but joining us virtually and many of their grandchildren and karen as well grateful for them. We have with us dennis lindsey the executive vice president basketball operations, justin zaneck, our general manager, quinn, snyder, who’s, joining us virtually and members of our various leadership teams that are with us today. I also want to acknowledge our many online guests that aren’t here with us in person but are joining us, including our elected officials, community partners and supporters, we’re grateful for them our dedicated champion partners and sponsors. Our strong community partners, our employees, as well as our media and the incredible jazz fans all over the the state and the world. We also want to welcome and thank our partners from the nba and other members of the miller family. That couldn’t be here but are tuning in virtually today, is the culmination of strong relationships, shared values and innovative collaboration. We are thrilled to share with you today’s news. During this event, we will hear from gail miller, ryan smith, ashley smith, and at this time i would like to turn the time over to gail miller, who will be followed by ryan and ashley gayle.
Thank you, steve it’s, a pleasure to be here today, and i thank you all for taking time to join us for this announcement. I’Ve said before that, my life has certainly been an unexpected journey and, if 2020 has been anything, it qualifies as another of those unexpected journeys. Today, i want to talk about a journey that started 35 years ago when larry, and i took a giant step out of our comfort zone and purchased the utah jazz. That was the beginning of unimaginable proportions for us and us and our family. As far as adventures, we were young and full of excitement at the prospects of being stewards of a unique asset and sharing it with utah and beyond we’ve treasured that stewardship, and especially the unifying influence it’s had on our city, our state and even across the country, And the world over the years, we’ve been honored to be able to provide good, wholesome entertainment to appreciative audiences we’ve had exceptional experiences and develop deep friendships with people all over the world. We’Ve especially appreciated the support of government and church officials, and everyone in between. We have experienced intense emotions for 35 years, some high and some low, and some just normal, but we’ve enjoyed all of it. We’Ve been proud of our city and appreciative of our fans, support there’s, no question that we have the the very best fans in the world. We also love and appreciate our employees. They are exceptional people and have always provided the ultimate guest experience to our patrons our coaches and our players have given their all to bring us outstanding teams and exciting games and even taken us to the national or to the finals.
Twice. Our relationship with the nba has been important and meaningful. Commissioner stern and commissioner silver have both been great friends and allies. We’Ve also been able to build great first class venues, there’s no question that we have had a long and rewarding journey these last 35 years. Today is a day i have never been able to imagine today, my family and i are here to announce that we’ve decided to sell a majority interest in the utah jazz and its affiliate business affiliated businesses to ryan and ashley smith. Now there’s been a lot of attention given in recent years to my putting the team in a legacy trust 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 that the new owners have made the same commitment to keep the team in utah included in this transaction are the utah jazz vivint arena and The salt lake city stars, we also plan to sell the zone sports network through a separate agreement, certain subject to certain approvals. The salt lake bees will remain connected to the jazz through a management agreement. I believe ryan and ashley embody the things that we as a family hold dear and, as i said before, they are absolutely committed to keeping the jazz in utah.
I have every confidence that they will move the team to the next level while honoring our history, our common goals and our work, because we believe so strongly in ryan and ashley and are totally invested in the success and mission of the utah jazz. Our family will retain a minority interest. This transaction is subject to the approval of the nba board of governors, as the new controlling owner ryan will become the nba governor of the utah jazz and its affiliates, and he will become the key decision maker for excuse me for all basketball, business and operations related To the team – and he will have our full support – selling the utah jazz was a huge decision, but doing so becomes a catalyst for our family and businesses to continue to evolve and enrich lives, while also allowing ashley and ryan to begin their journey. Our family looks forward to the adventures, ryan and ashley will create on this journey and we wish them the very best again. I want to thank my family, who has been very supportive and unified the players, the coaches and staff, our employees and our partners, and especially our fans. I also want to especially recognize the hard work of steve starks and our management team and the long hours that they’ve worked to make this deal happen. They have been unbelievable. I also want to thank my husband kim for his patience and support during these negotiations. I also want to thank larry for making this absolutely remarkable journey possible.
We love all of you and we care about all of you, and we appreciate your support all these years with that ryan i’ll turn the time over to you that’s hard to follow um but gail we couldn’t be more humbled. We couldn’t be more honored with your trust. Your 35 year stewardship and legacy is one that i believe is utahns we’re all in debt to you and the milder family. Our commitment is that we’re going to build on that legacy and we’re going to continue, including larry’s legacy, which our courts has his name on it, and we couldn’t um be more more grateful for you and we we. We know that all you do is good and that’s what the miller family does and being able to to be a conduit to help that continue and then to continue to have you, as a minority owner in the jazz, is incredibly um it’s an incredible opportunity. I’Ve approached gail and the mailers a couple times, there’s no secret about my interest in 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’ve cheered, for i played junior jazz, like i dreamed, of playing for the jazz, but that didn’t work out. But as i was sitting there this week with my kids in the junior jazz program that you guys started with hundreds of kids running around the legacy that you have created is is is untouchable and um we’re all just incredibly grateful for that.
Um, the jazz are gift to this whole community and that’s, how we view it that’s, a hundred percent, how we view this, and you know we – we look to use this platform to continue to do good. So thank you, gail. Thank you. The miller family um the the partnership that we’ve had over the last couple years as corporate sponsors and as the jersey patch sponsor, has been incredible to watch how you operate and and show us how it’s done um. Thank you steve for for working through this and for just for caring, um caring about this asset for the community um thanks to to dennis and quinn, the players, the coaches, the staff and, most importantly, um. I think we have the best fans in the world and that’s that’s that’s exciting and i i’m. I think, we’re extremely excited to to continue this journey and build upon the legacy that’s here and that’s that’s. Honestly, what’s made this possible and um there’s, not a really another team or another opportunity that we we would do this with and there’s no one i’d, rather do it with than my wife, ashley and she’s been pretty wise and not not. Let us explore other opportunities outside of utah at the level that maybe opportunities have come up and so i’m going to turn it over to her. Well, we are really excited um, we love basketball, we love the jazz and we really love utah. So this is.
This. Is an awesome event for us um. We are blown away and honored that we get to share this experience with utah and jazz nation um. For us, the jazz has been about love for our little family. It’S about love is about spending time together. It’S about sharing experiences, sharing, victories or losses, or lessons learned and hard work and all the ups and downs that come with any great adventure, and i think this really is going to be an incredible adventure and an adventure that we get to share with. All of you and that’s exciting um. We are really grateful to the millers and their trust in us to be stewards over what they have built and, like ryan said, it is extremely humbling. Um we’re committed to their vision, we’re committed to utah and we’re, committed to the jazz, so let’s go. Thank you ryan and ashley. We appreciate those words. Would you join me midstage actually, 35 years ago, when we bought the jazz sam battastone, the previous owner, handed us a ball representing the turn of the stewardship so i’d like to give you this basketball and acknowledge your new stewardship? Thank you and ryan since you’re going to be the key decision maker, i thought you needed a key, so i’ve, given you a key to the kingdom and hope that, with the advice i’ve written here, you’ll have a steady course. Thank you. We appreciate we appreciate you being here. We appreciate your words.
We appreciate your all you’ve done to this point. We have full faith and confidence in you that things are going to be wonderful. Thank you so much! Oh sorry, thank you. If you want to put those back here, you can or if you want to keep them. Thank you gail. Congratulations, ryan and ashley we’re excited for you as well, and your family. We know that there will be a lot of questions about this transaction and all things related to the jazz and ryan and ashley. We want to let you know that this is pending nba board of governors, approval, which the nba has approved the terms of the transaction they’re. Very supportive of this have been great, as gail talked about for a long great partners for a long time, the miller family and are excited to welcome ryan and ashley to the nba family as well, because it’s, pending we won’t, be able to discuss specific questions. Ryan and ashley won’t be able to answer. Questions about the team know that a lot of people will want to talk to them and congratulate them, but are unable to take any questions today from the media, given that this still needs to be formally approved by the board of governors that will meet in the Coming weeks, uh, and so with that again, thank you for the opportunity to be here today. Thank you for your friendship partnership for your leadership and what you mean all of you that are joining with us today and again congrats to the smiths with that will conclude our event today.