SALT LAKE CITY — From Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, some Utah Jazz fans are making the big trek out to support their team for Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs second round.
“I’m a fan, right? So that’s short for fanatic,” said Garrett Jones while laughing.
Jones is a lifelong fan that grew up watching the Stockton and Malone-era teams, as well as watching his dad and brothers root for them.
Now, he goes to several games a season. And now for Game 3, Jones will be crossing off something he has always wanted to do.
“It's just been kind of a bucket list thing for me to do a playoff game in an opponent’s arena, and it's close enough that we can kind of do that drive in one day," he said.
Hitting the road this afternoon, Jones is taking his brothers and two friends with him, and they have four great seats waiting for them at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Of course, they still will be in Jazz gear!
But if heading out to Los Angeles isn’t quite your style, there still are many other things you can do.
“The Utah Jazz are certainly a unifying factor in our community and something that everyone likes to rally behind,” said Jazz spokesman Frank Zang.
The Jazz also have something to offer if fans want that true arena feel, but don’t want to head out to L.A. for it.
“Now we get to have a different kind of crowd here for these public watch parties,” Zang said.
The party is free to the public and thousands will be able to catch the broadcast of the game on the giant screens inside Vivint Arena.
The team says fans can RSVP to receive a special 10 percent discount code at the Utah Jazz Team Store. Plus, fans will be entered to win prizes given away during the party.
There will also be a watch party Monday for Game 4 against the Clippers, with doors for both parties opening one hour before the game.
If you would rather hit the town instead, local sports bars and other spots have the games on their TVs.
“A lot of people come out to watch it here, and they enjoy being around other Jazz fans,” said Gavin Wilkey, a manager at ‘Bout Time Pub in the Gateway.
This season has been especially crazy, seeming like there are more and more Utah fans heading out and supporting our hometown team.
"A lot more people compared to the average season,” Wilkey said. “I feel like people are a lot more excited for the final games and the playoffs.”