The Utah Jazz and Delta announced today that they have entered into a long-term naming rights agreement. It will bring the Delta Center name back to the Utah Jazz arena starting in July 2023.
Ryan Smith and Delta CEO Ed Bastion held a conference with local media to answer questions about the return of the classic sponsorship.
The Jazz also released the following video, and it’s great.
This is a home run move by Ryan Smith. As the Jazz move forward with a new era of for the Jazz, it’s great to have a callback to the greatest era the team saw. The Delta Center was the home of multiple championship games and the hall-of-fame careers of Jerry Sloan, John Stockton, and Karl Malone.
For me, it was the place I fell in love with this team. Two memories for me stand out. My first time going to the Delta Center with my Junior Jazz teammates, the size of it, and the excitement of the game we were about to watch. It felt like I was walking into a basketball temple. My mom gave me $5 to buy something, and I bought some nachos. I remember walking up the steps to my upper bowl seats as happy as I had ever been. I tripped, and my nachos spilled onto the stairs. I knelt down, made eye contact with some lady, and scraped them back into my paper tray. I felt no shame and made my way to my seat. They were delicious, lady, and those steps were holy ground that could not soil the nachos. Also, the 5-second rule was in effect.
In my second game, my best friend and I sat together and had the free poster they had handed out that night. My friend asked me if he should make a paper airplane, and I shrugged, “sure.” He folded it up and threw it in the direction of the court. From the upper bowl, it swooped around and around and eventually fell right at Jerry Sloan’s feet. He kicked it out of the way and kept coaching, not skipping a beat. We were scared we might be going to jail that night. We also may have ruined posters for everyone. Sorry. (Also, do not throw paper airplanes at the game! We were idiots.)
It’s a great move by the Jazz to get this done and bring back the name that holds so much mystique.