Private equity firm Arctos Sports Partners is investing in the Utah Jazz through a partnership with the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) franchise’s Smith Entertainment Group (SEG) ownership group.
Subject to approval from the SEG board, the deal includes minority investment in a number of SEG properties, including Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Real Salt Lake and the Jazz’s Vivint Arena home.
The move will see Arctos invest in Utah’s sports and business community, with SEG looking to bring a third professional sports team to the state. The sports ownership group retain the right to launch a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) franchise in the future as part of the Real Salt Lake acquisition earlier this year.
The Jazz are the latest NBA franchise to receive investment from Arctos, following the Sacramento Kings
The investment firm’s portfolio also includes the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Tampa Bay Lightning and Minnesota Wild, Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, as well as Boston Red Sox owner Fenway Sports Group (FSG).
In total, Arctos has investments in more than 20 professional sports organisations, becoming the first firm to offer private equity funding across the MLB, MLS, NHL and NBA.
There has been no figures made public over the size of Arctos deal, but it would have to be for more than one per cent of the Jazz, per NBA regulations. SEG chairman Ryan Smith purchased the Jazz in December 2020 for a reported $1.66 billion and Sportico now values the team at US$1.78 billion.
“We are excited to partner with Arctos,” said Ryan Smith. “They are committed to Utah and to investing in this community and our sports teams and facilities. As SEG continues to build out the professional sports landscape in the state, the Arctos partnership brings strong commitment to Utah sports and a deep connection across all major sports leagues.”
Chad Hutchinson, a partner at Arctos, added: “We believe in Utah and all the amazing things happening in the state and we believe SEG is poised to be the next big sports and entertainment group.
“Arctos works with visionary ownership groups, and Utah has that in SEG. Their commitment to giving back to the community and building world-class franchises align perfectly with Arctos’ mission.
“We are excited to work with Ryan and the team to explore more sports-related opportunities around the state and the opportunity to build a premier sports and entertainment centre here.”