SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz will play in front of about 18,000 fans at home for the remainder of the playoffs. This is the first time Vivant Smart Home Arena has been at full capacity for a NBA game since the pandemic.
Between the excitement of the playoffs and the increased capacity, sales at the team store are expected to double, Morgan Evans, VP retail operations Utah Jazz, said.
“Obviously the numbers are a lot different when its 30 percent, compared to 13 thousand and hopefully we will see even more and more,” he said.
The team shop is constantly re-stocking the hot ticket items like players jerseys and “Dark Mode” apparel.
“It has been a lot of fun. It has been crazy. Business has obviously picked up,” Evans said.
As more people attend Jazz games, it’s not only apparel they are buying. Just down the street, The Gateway is bustling with fans on game days.
“About an hour before the game starts it gets crazy in here. Like line out the door, full lobby, everything,” Samantha Kirk, Chedda Burger General Manager, said.
The excitement over the Jazz’s success is helping business between people coming in to watch, or before or after the game, Gavin Wilkey, General Manager Bout Time Pub & Grub, said.
“It gets wild. A lot of people come through, a lot of high energy,” he said.
After a challenging year, the business is very much welcomed, Kirk said.
“Being downtown, especially at Gateway, we rely on events in the area to boom business,” she said.
It doesn’t get any better than this, Evans said reflecting on the challenges of the last year and finally seeing things get back to normal.
“I was thinking a little last night about how this time last year we were at home and the fact we were able to celebrate a win like that with our closest jazz friends and family was absolutely amazing,” he said.
Masks will still be required at Jazz games.