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Here's the deal between SLC and Smith Entertainment Group for a downtown district

Delta Center
Posted at 4:13 PM, Jul 05, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Erin Mendenhall's office has formally sent the city council the agreement with Smith Entertainment Group that ensures the Utah Jazz and Utah Hockey Club remain in downtown Salt Lake City.

If Smith Entertainment Group breaks the agreement and bolts for the suburbs? They would owe the city at least $250 million.

The participation agreement, made public on Friday, includes provisions FOX 13 News reported on earlier this week. There's protections for JapanTown; Smith Entertainment Group would get control of some of the public spaces in the district (but they have to abide by nondiscrimination laws); Salt Lake City gets a police precinct there and there's a demand to invest $5 million public art. Smith Entertainment Group must also put a special ticket fee on top of every Delta Center event with the money earmarked for affordable housing needs.

The deal itself is projected to generate billions in economic activity in downtown Salt Lake City with both teams drawing people from all over.

"At the center of this Participation Agreement is a commitment to delivering valuable community benefits and opportunities that uplift our quality of life by activating the full potential of our downtown," Mayor Mendenhall said in a statement. "This is an exciting step toward executing a vision to transform our urban core by centering walkability, affordability, and the needs of families, residents, and visitors."

The Utah State Legislature authorized the Salt Lake City Council to enact a .5% sales tax hike citywide to help pay for some of the downtown district costs, while Smith Entertainment Group has said it will invest billions of its own in the project. Mike Maughan, the project principal with SEG said in a statement: "Reimagining downtown Salt Lake is a mission-driven initiative that will involve everybody and have a lasting, positive impact for generations to come. This Participation Agreement is an important step in the journey toward a reimagined downtown core."

The Salt Lake City Council will vote next week on the proposed sales tax increase.

Read the entire agreement between Salt Lake City and Smith Entertainment Group here:

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