The ownership of the NBA franchise, the Utah Jazz, along with its home, the Vivint SmartHome Arena, has been transferred from owner Gail Miller to a legacy trust. This action will ensure that the team will remain in her family for generations.
Miller and her late husband Larry purchased 50% of the NBA franchise in 1985, when there was concern that the team would leave town. The Millers purchased the other half of the team a year later. Miller commented that her primary reason for the transfer was to make certain the basketball team remains in Utah. The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979 from New Orleans.
Associated Press reported in its recent article, “Jazz Ownership transferred to trust,” that Miller explained now she didn’t need to worry about it.
“It's part of a big package of estate planning. But it's one part that's all done and it will last forever as long as we have people who are willing and able to take care of it," she said.
Miller will stay on as the trustee until her death. The trust's board of managers includes six Miller family members: children Greg, Steve, Bryan, and Karen, as well as a grandson, Zane.
Jazz officials think this is the first legacy trust for a professional franchise in any of the four major U.S. leagues.
Dennis Haslam, who’s a former team president and part of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies board of directors, remarked that they worked with the NBA for a year to finalize the transfer. In addition to keeping the team in the state, there are some tax advantages in the transfer.
"This has the potential of lasting for hundreds of years, maybe longer," Haslam said. "We don't know where the NBA will be in 100 years, but it has the potential to survive that long."
Reference: Associated Press (January 23, 2017) “Jazz ownership transferred to trust.”