I've been to sporting events all over the world, and I've been lucky to see and hear everything from playoff NHL Hockey Games to WBNA regular season games. I love sports as a form of entertainment, but keeping the fans engaged every second of the game is a challenge. It's also big business as we all recently saw when the Utah Jazz announced $15 million dollars in arena upgrades. In addition to adding 8 new huge HD screens, various LED rings around the arena, and a state of the art audio system . . . the team added a 3D mountain trim on the sidelines to confuse and distract our enemies. Okay, that last part may never actually happen outside of PR materials, but the point remains: in today's NBA you have to pay the big money to keep fans entertained. So it's no time like now to look at the current Utah Jazz home game experience for fans.
While I've gone to a lot of games in a lot of arenas for almost every sport there is . . . I've never had the pleasure of going to a Utah Jazz home game. Luckily for me, most of you ladies and gentlemen have and are in daily communication with me. A major concern for years surrounded the jumbotron; however, a very close second seemed to be the audio system. While the jumbotron was almost purely a size issue . . . the audio system was not only bad and did not project high fidelity sound, but the actual audio selection was lacking. Furthermore, the Jazz PR department had some swings and misses on slogans over the years.
After canvassing twitter, this is what some of you had to say!
@slcdunk I thought music was illegal in Utah— Justin Caswell (@cazjuice) June 20, 2013
@slcdunk no more Gangam style. Ever— Ben Haacke (@BenHaacke) June 20, 2013
@slcdunk anything with pitbull needs to stop.— Joe Coles (@utahman130) June 20, 2013
@slcdunk need to start playing Dead Mans Party by Oingo Boingo again.— Danny Hansen (@TheDannyHansen) June 20, 2013
@slcdunk Whatever happened to "Scream Utah" by D-Bizz Oh No? We should play that, even though the entire roster has changed.— Aaron Vessel (@CocoDreamboat) June 20, 2013
@slcdunk IT'S OUR YEAR!— BC (@bjcseven) June 20, 2013
@slcdunk anything other than "great balls of fire" and that dumb chicken dance lol— Jimmy Andrews (@JimiAndrews) June 20, 2013
@slcdunk the new audio system is exciting, sometimes you couldn't really hear/understand Dan Roberts in the upper bowl.— brandon cooper (@bcoopsta) June 20, 2013
I also talked with Diana about all of this, and she educated me on a few other points. While the diversity of the Jazz home audience is a punch line in other markets, the audience is very diverse on other levels. Young parents go to Jazz games with children. Teens go to games with their dates. Young adults go to games with people they work with. Grandparents and great grandparents show up to games as well. Furthermore, individuals who live in 'The City' and people who drive hours from outside the metro also go to Jazz games. You have people who listen exclusively to Country Western and people who listen to whatever is the most hip new sound out there (Terror Acid Dubstep?). The Jazz keep an eye on who goes to the games and while the music selection is varied -- it is on design. Utah home games serve 20,000 individual sets of ears.
At least now starting this season Jazz fans are going to be hearing better sounds -- even if it's still a diverse hodge-podge of pop hits and insane slogans. (I still can't get over the Pure Adrenaline Rush) Ultimately, it's about the game though.
@slcdunk stop playing music all the time— Jones White (@white_jones33) June 20, 2013
I hear that.
And thank you to everyone who wrote back and took the time to tell me a little more about what you liked / did not like. It's valuable for me to learn as much as I can about how the fans feel about stuff. This is a fan blog, and even if it's just other fans who read here (it's not), it's important to make sure your collective voices are all heard!
GO JAZZ GO!