New health and safety guidelines in place as Jazz roll in preseason home opener
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz rolled to a 127-96 win over the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night in the team’s preseason home opener, as fans who wanted to catch an in-person glimpse had to follow new health and safety guidelines and provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test.
Vivint Arena spokesman Frank Zang said the requirement to either present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken in the 72 hours leading up to tipoff had been in place for a previous NHL game as well as a couple concerts.
It was, however, many Jazz fans’ first exposure to the new rules, which also mandated that all children under the age of 12 wear masks inside the arena.
Masks were strongly encouraged for everyone else.
“Obviously I’m still going to wear a mask because there are breakthrough cases, but having them check and be super thorough about having your IDs ready — it’s really safe and I love it,” said fan Katie Iwasaki.
Zang acknowledged team and arena officials had mulled the potential for pushback in relation to the new rules, but so far, had not encountered any significant issues.
“The people, fans have been very cooperative,” he said. “It’s gone really well so far. People want to come to concerts and Jazz games again, and so I think they’re very willing to go through these steps to enter the arena.”
Zang said the new requirements could change later in the season, depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recommendations of health officials.
Fans who showed up were treated to Donovan Mitchell playing 30 minutes, going 7 of 18 from the field for 18 points.
Rudy Gobert scored 19 and pulled down 19 rebounds in 24 minutes.
Many were optimistic for the season to come.
“(I) can’t wait to watch the Jazz again and hopefully see them win a championship!” said fan Garrett Smith.
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