SPORTS

Limited Number Of Jazz Fans Return For Team’s Season Home Opener

Dec 26, 2020, 10:26 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2023, 12:23 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — It wasn’t quite the outcome we were hoping for — the Jazz losing to the Minnesota Timberwolves — but it was still a big night because for the first time in nine months, there were real human beings in the stands.

Even leaving the game, people still had smiles on their faces and were excited they could be part of such a big night.

About 1,500 Jazz fans were allowed into the arena Saturday night, a whole lot less than normal.

KSL TV spoke with fans as they arrived for the game. Many said they couldn’t wait to get in their seats.

“It’s so exciting to be back!” said one fan.

“I’m excited to be in the stadium watching the team play,” said another.

The anticipation was palpable outside Vivint Arena before the start of the game.

For the first time since March, Jazz fans got to watch their favorite team, up close and personal.

“Shows you there’s light at the end of the tunnel as far as COVID goes.”

“I’m just excited to see the excitement — to see everybody back together again and the team cohesiveness.”

“It makes me feel like things are maybe starting to get back to normal,” said a hopeful fan.

The Jazz welcomed 1,500 fans, mainly season ticket holders, into the arena. That’s less than 10% of the stadium’s 18,000+ seats.

“There are definitely some new things that are in place as fans do come to the arena tonight,” said Frank Zang, Jazz spokesperson. “Masks are mandatory, we are enforcing the six feet of social distancing, we put people in seating pods to spread them out.”

Besides the new rules, there was also a 30-foot radius around the court and tarps to block out lower-level seating. But die hard fans didn’t seem to mind one bit.

“We’re excited to see Jordan Clarkson. He’s our favorite, right?”

“Donovan get some threes and Rudy get some dunks.”

“To have Favors back, Joe Ingles making the same jokes he always makes and messing with everybody, Donovan actually leading the team, Rudy’s back and he’s more aggressive than ever, it’s awesome!” said an excited fan.

It seems the players were just as excited to be playing on home court with fans finally back in the stands.

“Our players have expressed their excitement about playing in front of the fans again, even on this very limited capacity,” said Zang.

“Go Jazz! Go Jazz! Woohoo!” cheered a fan.

There were a couple pre-season games that Jazz employees and their families attended, and those were good test runs for Saturday’s home opener.

Jazz officials said they hope to increase the number of fans in the arena as conditions allow.

KSL 5 TV Live

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Limited Number Of Jazz Fans Return For Team’s Season Home Opener