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Auto Dealer Buys a Half-Interest in the Jazz

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Associated Press

Auto dealer Larry Miller paid $8 million Thursday to become half-owner of the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Assn. Miller bought into the financially strapped franchise after putting together a loan from four Utah banks.

“We’re excited. If nothing else because we can start talking about basketball instead of business,” Miller said.

The purchase assures that the team will stay in Salt Lake City, half-owner and managing partner Sam Battistone said during a banquet held before the Jazz played its final home game of the regular season.

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Battistone had imposed a Tuesday deadline for local investors to put together a package to pay off the club’s debt or it would be sold to the highest bidder.

He had been offered $18 million to move the team to Florida, and groups in Orange County and Minnesota also were interested in purchasing the team.


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