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."
"We are very happy to know that now more than ever, and for generations to come - the Jazz will belong to Utah." - Gail Miller pic.twitter.com/9HPBVgDwo7— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) January 23, 2017
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.
Gail Miller has set up a legacy trust to the entire Miller family to ensure that the Jazz organization will remain in Utah "for generations"— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 23, 2017
Gail Miller: We view the legacy trust as passing the ball and all it stands for to future family members, fans and community members.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 23, 2017
Gail Miller said she hopes the Millers' legacy will be that it's a family that loves Utah.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 23, 2017
Greg Miller: This assures "perpetual ownership" for the Jazz. "It’s a privilege to be stewards over such a remarkable community resource."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 23, 2017
Steve Miller on the trust: "We knew this would finally put to rest speculation about the team being sold that have existed for a long time."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 23, 2017
Zane Miller, Gail Miller's grandson, gave a speech and ended with a teary thank you to his grandparents for trusting the third generation.— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 23, 2017
Gail Miller recalled something Larry said 30 years ago: "The Jazz can't leave Utah. We've got to do everything we can to keep them here."— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 23, 2017