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Salt Lake City Approves Tax Break For Arena Upgrade

SALT LAKE CITY (CelebrityAccess) — The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City voted Tuesday to approve $22.7 million in tax incentives to support a planned $125 million renovation of the Vivint Smart Home Arena, home of the NBA's Utah Jazz.

“We’re excited about the future of the renovation and what it means for our community,” said Utah Jazz President Steve Starks. “Today’s vote represents the support that the community has always had for the organization and the Miller family.”

According to the Salt Lake City Daily Herald, The Larry H. Miller Group, owners of the Utah Jazz said the upgrades would include improvements for existing heating ventilation and air conditioning systems, installation of a new photovoltaic solar panel system, along with plaza, concession, seating and premium suite upgrades.

The 19,911-capacity arena, which was built in 1991 for $90 million, is the oldest arena in the NBA and has yet to see a major renovation.

As per usual, there was some public opposition to the use of public funds to assist in private venue construction, including the Utah chapter of the conservative lobby group Americans for Prosperity.

"The Miller Corporation is a billion-dollar corporation with more than enough means necessary to fund this project without tax dollars," Americans for Prosperity state director Evelyn Everton said. "… This is the very definition of corporate welfare and this practice must stop."

However, Everton's objections appeared to fall on deaf ears and the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City voted unanimously to move forward with the public subsidy. – Staff Writers