Nearly 60 percent of Utahns support using public money to fund winter sports facilities for the 1998 Winter Olympics and to help build a new arena for the Utah Jazz, a Deseret News/KSL News poll found.

Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed by Dan Jones & Associates approved of the Utah Legislature earmarking $4 million in sales tax dollars annually to the Olympics, while 38 percent disapproved, the poll found.The Legislature voted this year to dedicate 1/64-cent from sales tax collected by local and state governments separately each year - about $2 million each - to build facilities for the Winter Games.

The U.S. Olympics Committee is requiring the city it chooses in June to be the U.S. bidder for the Games to have a financing mechanism in place to build a bobsled-luge run, ski-jump and speed skating facility.

USOC officials point to the state's financing mechanism as one reason Utah is viewed as a top competitor for securing the U.S. bid for the Games. The International Olympics Committee will choose a host in 1991.

Most Utahns also favor public money spent on supporting another sports endeavor: building a new arena for the Utah Jazz. Officials say they need a new arena to generate more ticket sales so they can afford to stay in Utah.

Do you approve or disapprove of the Utah Legislature promising $2 million a year (with local governments paying another $2 million yearly) to build facilities for the Winter Olympics?

Strongly approve 32 percent

Somewhat approve 25 percent

Somewhat disapprove 10 percent

Strongly disapprove 28 percent

Don't know 6 percent

Utah lawmakers also promised to contribute $500,000 a year toward a new Utah Jazz arena. Do you approve or disapprove of that action?

Strongly approve 32%

Somewhat approve 24%

Somewhat disapprove 10%

Strongly disapprove 28%

Don't know 6%

Sample size: 607; margin of error plus or minus 4%