This month’s Stadium feature brings us to what is a dying breed in the NBA…a relatively young arena with great sightlines but not enough money-making specialty seating. Out in Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz play in EnergySolutions Arena, but I can’t warm up to that name so let’s go back and call the old Delta Center. Built in 1991, the arena is large but intimate as two decks of seating feature a significant amount of green seats (capacity is close to 20,000). It is clearly built with basketball in mind and with just one ring of small luxury suites, all fans get to enjoy decent seats and views no matter the row location. This brand of arena from the late 80s and early 90s is fading as money-hungry owners and teams demand new ones to fill their pocket, even though these 20-25 year old facilities are completely serviceable. We’ve already seen Orlando’s disappear and Sacramento’s will be gone soon too. Higher ups are trying to get a new arena to replace the Bradley Center in Milwaukee as well and let’s hope they fail as their sole efforts are to make more money. So far in Utah, things are quiet and their current home arena seems safe. Besides this place even survived a tornado!.
There is more to the Delta Center Jazz experience worth taking in. The downtown location in a great city surrounded by beautiful scenery is ideal and inside, Utah’s fans are some of the loudest in the NBA. Go back to the days of the 1997 Finals against Chicago and remember how deafening it got. Hopefully the fans aren’t fixated on the new scoreboard instead of looking at the floor as the screen is incredible for those that like those amenities (it’s too large for my liking). The building also has history as several Winter Olympic events were held here in 2002. Not many of these arena types are left in the NBA and if you are going for strictly a great game-watching experience, check out this arena in Salt Lake City.