SANDY — This Salt Lake County city could be the next home of Scheels, a major sporting goods and outdoor gear "destination retailer" that has 23 stores in nine states.

Sources confirmed Wednesday that the company, based in Fargo, N.D., is considering either Sandy or Boise for a new location. On Tuesday, the Salt Lake County Council approved an interlocal agreement with Sandy that caps its participation at $3.8 million in property-tax increment over 25 years, whichever occurs first. Sandy also will provide a property-tax increment to the project.

Neither county nor Sandy administrators would name the retailer Tuesday, which would anchor a 22-acre development at 11400 S. State. Surrounding businesses would not be eligible for tax support under the agreement, officials said.

The store could employ up to 450 Utahns at "above average wages," county and Sandy officials said Tuesday.

In September, the Utah Department of Transportation opened a new exit off I-15 at 11400 South.

Scheels, according to its website, operates largely in the Midwest with locations in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Nevada.

The company, founded as a general merchandise store in 1902 by Frederick A. Scheel in Sabin, Minn., is privately held and employee-owned. It "owes its consistent success to its empowered associates, managers and partners who think and make decisions for their individual store and the entire company," the company website states.

Scheels officials would not comment on the interlocal agreement or site selection process. An employee in Fargo, N.D., who refused to identify himself or provide his title said the company regularly reviews sites throughout the country. Any announcement about future locations, if any, would not occur until 2011, he said.

Scheels has no presence in the Intermountain area at this time. Its location in Sparks, Nev., offers a vast selection of sports equipment, sportswear, footwear and outdoor gear. It also features a 16-car operating Ferris wheel, two 16,000-gallon aquariums, a 35-foot wildlife mountain, shooting galleries, and simulators for golf, soccer and hockey.

The 295,000-square foot structure also includes a deli that serves gourmet soups and sandwiches, Starbucks coffee and 24 flavors of homemade fudge. It also features a Walk of Presidents.