It’s not clear if it’s an inspo image or a peek at some actual future plans but Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith tweaked the social media realm Tuesday with a tweet that included a rendering of a bustling, but unidentified downtown Salt Lake City street with a brand new sports arena sporting a Jazz logo at one end and an accompanying message about community building:

“Downtown Salt Lake City is the heart of Utah,” Smith wrote in his post on X, formerly Twitter. “Our efforts are not about an arena, it’s about revitalizing a downtown that desperately needs investment. Imagine a downtown experience like this with the NBA / NHL at its core.”

The cryptic communique arrives amid the Utah Legislature’s consideration of a proposal, SB272, that in its current form would create a sports and entertainment project area to raise state sales tax .5% to generate an estimated $1 billion over 30 years for construction of a hockey venue. That would push the sales tax rate in Salt Lake City to 8.25%. A committee made up of members appointed by the Senate president, House speaker and governor would oversee the project area.

Ryan and Ashley Smith’s sports and entertainment enterprise, Smith Entertainment Group, has been in hot pursuit of bringing an NHL franchise to the Beehive State for the past couple of years and that effort heated up significantly last month when SEG submitted a formal request to the National Hockey League to “initiate an expansion process with the ultimate purpose of bringing an NHL franchise to Utah.” In its request, SEG also underscored the immediate ability to welcome an NHL team to Utah, using the Delta Center as an interim home arena for an NHL franchise.

“SEG envisions a near future where the NHL will thrive in Utah, and we are 100% focused on making this happen as soon as possible,” Smith, chairman of Smith Entertainment Group and governor of the Utah Jazz, said in a statement. “We are passionate about sports and entertainment in the state and are committed to providing premium sports and entertainment experiences for the people of Utah and visitors from around the world. We are ready to welcome the NHL and are confident that the time and attention being spent by all parties will bring one of the most exciting and dynamic leagues in the world to our community on a permanent basis.”

SEG, the 3-year-old sports and entertainment group that operates as the parent company of the Utah Jazz, Delta Center, Real Salt Lake, Utah Royals and other holdings, also clarified last month that while a new NHL team could hit the ice at the Delta Center immediately, the longer range plan is to build a new, hockey-dedicated venue.

“All eyes are on Utah for the recent and rapid evolution of our sports landscape, especially with the Utah Royals back this spring and Salt Lake City’s Olympic bid underway,” Smith said. “There is so much momentum happening at the state level around global sports and sports infrastructure.

“While Delta Center is ready to serve as an interim solution for an NHL team, Utah will need a new arena designed for professional and Olympic hockey.”

Conjecture has swirled around where a brand new Utah NHL arena might be sited, including the possibility of the venue going up as part of the redevelopment of the former Utah state prison facility in Draper. But, Smith’s Tuesday tweet, along with language state leaders have been using recently, collectively reflect that all hockey sticks are pointing in one direction — downtown Salt Lake City.

“It’s the spot for it,” Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, told reporters last week. “We think the right thing is to bring it downtown and continue that vitality, that excitement and not let our capital city go in ... disrepair like we’ve seen around the country.”

Proponents of the “Capital City Reinvestment Zone Amendments” proposal including Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, say the legislation would be transformative for the city’s downtown.

“This bill is very exciting in how it can transform our downtown and better connect current entertainment offerings,” the mayor told the committee.

Mendenhall, a Democrat, said it would link the east and west sides of downtown, including the Delta Center, Temple Square, the theater district, and the City Creek and Gateway malls.

“We’re not building a hockey arena, we’re building a city,” said Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, the bill’s sponsor. “Think of the capital city that’s economy represents all of Utah.”

SEG officials did not immediately respond to a Deseret News inquiry about the arena rendering posting.