SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller says the 12,444-seat Salt Palace is too small.
He said he must raise ticket prices, build a bigger arena or sell the team. He favors a larger complex, seating at least 18,000, and the Salt Palace Advisory Board agrees.
Salt Lake County Commission Chairman Bart Barker said an advisory board will begin studying a proposal to spend between $50 million and $60 million on expansion, with about half that money going to construct a 25,000-seat sports arena.
He said a facility of that size could help the city attract major sports events.
Barker said the advisory board will start an extensive study of the "expansion concept" within the next week and hopes to have an "action plan" within three months.
"One scenario is to begin construction" on the larger arena in the fall of 1989," Barker said, "and have it completed by the time the NBA begins its 1991 season, an effort aimed at keeping the Utah Jazz from moving to county sites in Sandy or Murray or even to another state."
The Jazz reportedly have an option on land south of Salt Lake City that could be used to build an 18,000-seat arena. But Miller has said he would like to cooperate with the city and county, especially if a new arena is built rather than the old complex expanded to 17,500 seats.