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Utah Jazz announce plans to allow fans back to Vivint Arena

(Statues of Karl Malone and John Stockton outside of Vivint Smart Home Arena. Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – The fans are coming back to Vivint Arena.  The Utah Jazz has announced their plans for the upcoming NBA season, and team ownership is making serious safety upgrades to the arena to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The season tips off on December 22 and crews are busy inside and outside Vivint Arena to get the building ready.  Outside, crews are building a Christmas light archway on the northeast corner of the complex.  Inside, crews are installing plexiglass on all the counters and improving the heating system with upgraded filters.

(Crews building a Christmas light archway near the entrance of Vivint Arena. Credit: Paul Nelson)

“We are taking the utmost precautions when it comes to cleaning, disinfection and other infectious disease prevention protocols,” said team spokesman Frank Zang.

At first, only 1,500 fans will be allowed in the arena per game.  That number may go up if state health officials approve, but Zang says they wanted to keep their attendance low for now.

“We think this is a responsible and cautious way to start the season,” he said.

Changes to expect at Utah Jazz games

Inside the arena, signs will be placed all over to remind people to keep their distance from others. Facemasks will be required for everyone two-years-old and up unless they’re actively eating or drinking.The team is prohibiting purses and bags so people don’t crowd around the security checkpoints. The only exceptions will be medical or diaper bags.

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Other distancing policies include:

  • Common spaces such as elevators, retail stores, and restrooms are subject to reduced capacity, and tables in restaurants will be set six feet apart to best serve physical-distancing protocols;
  • Full contactless mobile ticketing only with self-service digital scanning for guests will be at all arena entrances to reduce points of contact with staff;
  • Visitors will have a cash-free experience wherein all food, beverage, and Jazz Team Store points of contact will accept only credit, debit and prepaid cards and mobile payments to assure a contactless experience. Cash-to-card kiosks will be located on the main and upper concourses;
  • Visitors will find a new mobile food and beverage ordering system, via the Jazz App, which they will use for ordering and paying by mobile phone. The arena will also offer express pickup locations to maximize physical distancing in concession lines;
  • and, the Jazz Team Store will offer in-seat delivery for merchandise shopping through the Jazz App.

How the arena will be kept clean for Utah Jazz games

The team has also made big changes in how the arena will be cleaned.  For instance, electrostatic sprayers have been installed to evenly distribute disinfectants in high touch areas.

“It’s one of the NBA requirements for a return to play,” according to Zang.

Other cleaning measures include:

  • Hand sanitizer stations located throughout the arena;
  • Public address announcements and digital signage placed throughout the arena to help promote physical distancing;
  • and, arena employees will undergo touchless temperature screening before entering the workplace. All staff will wear face coverings for the duration of every event, routinely wash their hands with soap and water, and practice physical distancing.

So, who gets first dibs on tickets?

The answer is current season ticket holders.

“Our current season ticket members, whether they’re in the lower or upper bowl, will be given priority access for socially distanced seating and seating pods,” Zang said.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States