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Utah Jazz announce legacy trust to ensure team's future in Beehive State

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller announced Monday that the ownership of the Jazz will be transferred into a legacy trust to ensure that the NBA franchise will stay in the Beehive State.

"We've been clear from the beginning that our mission is to make sure that the Jazz stay in Utah," Miller said, while adding the focus of the trust will be to use those resources to attract the top talent available and take advantage of the best technology.

"Our goal is and has always been to win an NBA championship," Miller said. "Utah would not be the same without the Utah Jazz."

Moving the ownership over to a legacy trust ensures that the Miller family will retain stewardship over the NBA franchise. According to the Jazz, while the trust will be managed by current and future generations of the Miller family, it will not provide any material benefit to the family from the Jazz organization.

The franchise relocated to Utah from New Orleans in 1979. On Monday, Miller recalled something her late husband Larry said 30 years ago, when financial challenges resulted in putting the team up for sale: "The Jazz can't leave Utah. We've got to do everything we can to keep them here."

Larry and Gail Miller purchased 50 percent of the franchise in May 1985, then paid for the remaining 50 percent the next year. They have had sole ownership of the Jazz franchise since, and Monday's news ensures the team's ownership will stay with the family.

"As a family, we have always considered the Utah Jazz a community asset and it has been our privilege to serve as stewards of this team for more than 30 years," Gail Miller said. "There have been many opportunities to sell and move the franchise, but from the day Larry and I purchased the Jazz our goal was to keep the team in Utah. The legacy trust will help to ensure this commitment is kept for generations to come."

Stay tuned for more on this developing story.