On the heels of a report late last month that Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake owner Ryan Smith had recently met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in New York, KSL sports reporter Sam Farnsworth tweeted at Smith Saturday evening, writing, “Stanley Cup Playoffs always delivers! PLEAAAAAASE bring this to Utah, @RyanQualtrics!”

Just 12 minutes later, Smith replied to Farnsworth, writing, “In motion.”

On March 31, Canadian hockey reporter Elliotte Friedman reported that Smith had met with Bettman after an NBA board of governors meeting.

“This is one to watch,” Friedman wrote, reporting that Smith was a potential bidder when the Pittsburgh Penguins were sold in late 2021.

“Obviously, that didn’t happen,” Friedman wrote of Smith getting the Penguins, “but I was told to keep his name on my radar, because he’s interested in the NHL — and the NHL is very interested in him.”

Related
Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith reportedly met with the NHL’s commissioner recently

Smith’s tweet Saturday would seem to indicate that if he bought a team, it would either be an expansion franchise or an existing one that he would relocate to Utah as opposed to owning it and keeping it in its current location.

In his March report, Friedman wrote that Utah hosting the Winter Olympic Games again in the future “could lead to new facilities, including a future home for the NBA team and an NHL brother.”

According to a 2022 story by NBC Sports’ Max Molski, there are 10 cities that currently have both an NHL and NBA team (those leagues’ schedules play their seasons at essentially the exact same time from the fall through the spring) that play in the same arena:

  • Dallas (American Airlines Center).
  • Denver (Ball Arena).
  • Washington, D.C. (Capital One Arena).
  • Los Angeles (Crypto.com Arena).
  • Detroit (Little Caesars Arena).
  • New York City (Madison Square Garden).
  • Toronto (Scotiabank Arena).
  • Boston (TD Garden).
  • Chicago (United Center).
  • Philadelphia (Wells Fargo Center).

Smith’s tweet Saturday came as the prospect of Major League Baseball coming to Utah has been a hot topic of conversation this month.

On April 12, nearly two weeks after Friedman’s report about Smith and the NHL, a team led by the Larry H. Miller Group called Big League Utah formally announced that it is pursuing the goal of bringing a Major League Baseball team to Utah.

All 10 of the markets listed above have an NBA, NHL and MLB team. Only Detroit does not also have a Major League Soccer team.