Hey, all! It's your friendly ESA Usher back to answer some of your questions. First, Yucca Man asked:
I’d love to hear some ushering stories. Some wild fan altercations that required intervention, weird fan interactions, funny behind-the-scenes stuff.
That's a good one. Maybe each time I write one of these, I'll include a story or two, because I could bore you guys to death with all the stories I've heard from other ushers, not to mention the stories I, myself, have.
There was one moment last year. The Bear had hit these two gentlemen with some silly string early in the game, and they retaliated. This continued to escalate with Bear showering them with more items throughout the game until this finale at the end of the 3rd quarter:
Obviously, they were in on some aspect of the gag. However, as this started to escalate, another Golden State fan came from about five sections over, and kept telling these guys that he was a lawyer and would help them sue the Bear. The lawyer was very upset over this whole thing -- probably the only one in the whole arena. He also didn't like it when the ushers told him he had to stay in his own seating area.
Next, parelkid asks:
How often do you personally have to kick people out?
Well, as an Usher, we don't normally kick people out of the building. That's Security's job. Think of us as the good cop. However, if we tell Security that someone needs to be gone, they usually won't be seeing the end of the game from inside the Arena. Now, as far as kicking people out of their seats, most of us average at least one a game, usually more.
And that leads us to our next question. clarkpojo asks:
At what point is it okay to go to the lower bowl when there are hundreds of empty seats? The 4th quarter? Ever? It seems that you would want to fill the seats right around the court to enhance the atmosphere.
When you buy a ticket to a Jazz game (or concert, or anything else), you have the rights to that seat and the area between it and the seat in front of you from the time the doors open (typically 90 minutes before tipoff) until the final horn sounds. Nobody else can sit in that seat. It doesn't matter if you're in section 17 row A seat 20 (Gail Miller's seat) or section 127 row 25 seat 3 (about where I sat the last time I attended a game -- the very top row behind where the American Flag used to be). Yes, it would create a better atmosphere to have those seats full, but it would also have a better atmosphere to fill all 19,911 seats. Since you've decided to move downstairs, let's bring someone from outside who hasn't paid for a ticket fill your seat. Doesn't really seem fair, does it? It sounds harsh, but that's the reality.
I'll get to clarkpojo's other question in a moment, but I feel like Jazzfan12's question goes good here:
Do the Jazz have a block of seats they hold for themselves to give out to people they want to host? For example players families or former players and coaches, etc.?
The NBA requires teams to hold a certain number of tickets for the visiting team to use, but if those don't get used, the Jazz will put them to good use. Player's families have to buy tickets on their own. Most of them sit in the section behind the bench, but there have been some that sit opposite the bench. I understand that Boozer's wife had 8 seats, but rarely used more than 4 at a time. Former players usually have to buy their tickets, but they usually will contact the Miller family first.
Now, back to clarkpojo's other question:
Also, who is the most famous person to ever attend a Jazz home game? Any idea?
I know Madonna visited when the was dating Dennis Rodman. Some of the long-timers can tell stories about that. Ty Burrell of Modern Family has been a frequent guest. We also had the stars of High School Musical come during the playoffs a few years ago, at the height of HSM fame. There's been a few others, but Madonna's probably at the top of the list as most famous.
Well, I hope I didn't miss anyone's questions. Feel free to ask some on this post for me to answer next time. Our next event at the Arena is Opening Night. We had our annual usher training last week, and we received our new uniforms. Gone are the silver vests we've worn the last few years. Our new uniforms are a throwback to the building's opening in 1991, and I think you'll agree that we look sharp. See ya on the flip side. And Go Jazz Go.