UTAH

Utah lawmakers unanimously pass resolution backing NHL bid

Jan 29, 2024, 5:58 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Senate unanimously backed a resolution supporting the Smith Entertainment Group’s bid to bring the National Hockey League to the Beehive State.

Senators were joined by Ryan and Ashley Smith for the vote on Monday. Also scheduled for Monday afternoon is a virtual meeting between Gov. Spencer Cox and the NHL.

The Smiths’ group formally asked the NHL to begin the expansion process last week, saying Utah is “immediately” ready to host a team at the Delta Center.

 

 

Lisa Kriley, who has been coaching power skating for the last 30 years, said she has noticed the hockey community growing in the state over the last decade. She said bringing in the NHL would be a game-changer for young athletes.

“Because they travel to go watch the NHL, and we have many ex-NHL players that live here, so it’s on the minds of the youth all the time … so having it in your backyard would mean that much more motivation to get to that level,” Kriley said.

The conversation between the Smith Entertainment Group and the NHL started in 2022. Following last week’s expansion request, the NHL called Utah a “promising market.”

The big push for bringing the NHL to the state comes as Utah awaits that final check to host the Winter Olympics in 2034. If the Beehive State lands both, a new hockey arena is in the cards, according to Ryan Smith.

Please read the full story at KSLTV.com.

 

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Utah lawmakers unanimously pass resolution backing NHL bid