The Arizona Coyotes play what could be their last game Wednesday in the Grand Canyon State before their impending move to Salt Lake City.

Ahead of an anticipated announcement of the team’s relocation later this week, Smith Entertainment Group submitted an application on April 4 to create a Capital City Revitalization Zone under legislation the Utah Legislature passed last month. Creation of the zone in the downtown area would allow the city to increase sales tax .5% to help fund a new hockey arena or renovate the Delta Center to better accommodate hockey. The law doesn’t state how much tax revenue would be diverted to the project but would be limited to a maximum dollar amount in a development agreement. Early estimates had the tax hike pulling in around $1 billion.

On Tuesday, the Salt Lake City attorney briefed City Council members on what SB272 does and the city’s role. The council outlined a timeline for the potential development agreement and sales tax increase:

May 7 — Salt Lake City Council follow-up briefing. Smith Entertainment Group and Salt Lake City officials will discuss the proposed participation agreement draft.

May 21 — Public hearing on the Capital City Revitalization Zone agreement.

July 2 — Possible City Council vote to approve an agreement.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and the Salt Lake City Council in a statement said they would not comment further on the proposal for now.

Is Salt Lake City a hockey town?
How much would a hockey arena cost taxpayers?

Multiple outlets reported last week that the NHL is working to facilitate the sale of the Coyotes to Ryan and Ashley Smith, owners of Smith Entertainment Group, which already has the Utah Jazz, Real Salt Lake and Utah Royals FC. SEG also owns the Delta Center.

The NHL’s executive committee has approved a relocation plan to move the franchise to Salt Lake City, according to Sportico, which cited unnamed sources. It would still need approval from the league’s board of governors, which includes representatives from all 32 teams. The team’s plans to build a new arena in the Phoenix area have failed several times. It currently plays in the 4,600-seat Mullett Arena at Arizona State University.

Utah leaders say the legislation for the revitalization zone is not just about building a hockey venue but re-imagining downtown Salt Lake City.

“As we all know, there are concerns with how our capital city looks and is presented to the world,” said Rep. Jon Hawkins, R-Pleasant Grove, on the House floor.

“It brings our capital to life again,” he said. “This bill is an effort to restore Salt Lake City to its once and future glory.”

Did Ryan Smith just confirm the NHL is coming to Utah?

Mendenhall earlier said the bill could transform the city center and better connect its current entertainment offerings. She 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.

In a joint statement in February, Mendenhall, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and the Smiths said they are poised to “invest deeply” in the city’s downtown experience.

“There’s a lot of work ahead of us, and we’re thrilled to have this seminal opportunity to partner together to reimagine the downtown experience — to create a comprehensive, visionary plan that generates a vibrant, safe and fully activated downtown. With Utah Jazz games, the latest Broadway shows, world-renowned concerts, global events and the opportunity to attract the Olympics and NHL, the downtown experience will serve as the state’s anchor for arts, culture, sports and entertainment,” according to the statement.

Church ‘pleased’ with potential effort to refresh downtown

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is currently in the middle of a six-year Salt Lake Temple renovation project, endeavors to enhance downtown, though it did not address specifics in the legislation.

“The church has always demonstrated interest in making sure Utah’s capital city remains vibrant and attractive, both for those who live and work there as well as those who visit,” church spokesman Doug Andersen said in a statement in February.

“As a stakeholder in the downtown community, where the church’s global headquarters is positioned, we’re pleased with the potential this has to refresh and revitalize downtown Salt Lake City while presenting a safe and family-friendly gathering place for generations to come.”