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Official Review by Connor Comeau, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Things are looking up for the NBA's Utah Jazz. With the announcement of the team being put in a legacy trust, upcoming renovations and a young, talented team taking the floor, it's easy to see why fans are excited for the future. The Jazz have called the arena home for over 20 years, and it continues to impress on a daily basis.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Vivint Smart Home Arena has maintained the consistency of the food items offered here for the last few years. There are plenty of items to choose from, depending on what you're in the mood for.
You'll find most of your traditional stadium items at Fast Break, such as hot dogs (regular $3.50, jumbo $4.25), nachos ($5) and chips ($2). If you have more of a sweet tooth, there are kiosks that serve Dippin' Dots ($4, $6 and $8) and booths that serve Iceberg thick shakes ($8).
There is no shortage of drink options available either. There are Coke products available (regular $3.50, large $4) if you're craving caffeine. For those that are looking for more healthy options: Smart Water ($4.25), Dasani ($4.25) and Powerade ($4).
At the Fast Break, there is a combo of the same name that includes a hot dog, chips and small drink for $6.
If there is one thing that makes Vivint stand out from other arenas, it's crowd noise. Jazz fans are one of the loudest in the NBA, even when it's not full.
One of the biggest upgrades since the last review was the addition of a massive new scoreboard with giant screens on all four sides and smaller screens underneath. So no matter where you sit for a game, you will get a clear view of the stats and replays. Even the nosebleeds, as high up as they are, provide a good view of the action on the court. The concourses on each level are spacious and provide ample room to move around.
The Jazz Bear is one of the most recognizable mascots in the NBA, and probably the friendliest one, too. When not involved in on-court promotions, the Bear is actively going around the crowd, ensuring that fans are having a good time and adding another level of fun to Utah Jazz games.
If your seat is behind one of the baskets, the team provides "Stadium Sticks" to help with opponent free throw distractions.
With tickets, the team always has special promotions going on - ranging from winning free gear to ticket packages and discounts.
No matter where you sit for the game, you'll have a terrific view of the court, with the massive videoboard right over center court. Lower bowl seats are good if you have a larger group of people, but they are slightly more expensive.
Vivint Smart Home Arena is centrally located in downtown Salt Lake City, so there is no shortage of things to do, even if you're not in town for a game.
There are plenty of your run of the mill restaurants located nearby if you're looking for a quick bite to eat. One of the more famous places to eat is Crown Burger, a restaurant known for its pastrami burgers and a Utah staple. If you're looking for something a little more upscale, the neighboring Gateway Mall is a good place to try.
Right down the street (less than a block) away is the recently renovated Clark Planetarium, a good place to be if you're looking for a family-friendly activity to do before the game. For the shopping types, both The Gateway and City Creek Center are walking distance from the arena. Be advised, the stores here are more upscale, so expect to spend a pretty penny.
There are hotels near the arena, but those are more suite-type hotels and could run you anywhere between $150 to $200 a night. There are other hotels in the area that are a little bit cheaper, but are a little further in terms of distance. There are several hotels in the immediate vicinity, so make sure you do research so that you find a room with your preferences.
Whether it's an "up" or "down" year, Jazz fans are some of the most loyal fans in the NBA. They're loud and passionate, which makes the near 20,000 seat arena seem much larger than it is.
During winter months, attendance may drop slightly, but don't expect a little bit of rain or snow to keep the fans away. When the Jazz are doing well, especially this year, almost every seat is filled. Add some high quality teams to the schedule, don't be surprised if the game sells out.
Jazz fans are some of the loudest that I've ever heard, and that's putting it mildly. They are very vocal and are always in the game. Win or lose, the fans always remain loud right up until the end of the game. If you have sensitive hearing, make sure to bring earplugs. Otherwise, you'll regret it.
With the arena downtown, there is easy access to and from depending on what your preference is.
UTA TRAX, the light rail system in the Salt Lake area, has a stop right in front of the stadium. On game days, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time as ridership is higher than usual.
If you're driving to the game, there are several open and fenced lots within blocks of the arena. The area I found was kitty corner to the arena - it was an open area but only cost $8. Parking prices will range from $5 to $20.
Vivint has plenty of gates to enter through depending on your type of ticket and seat location. Security wise, it is the same as any other sporting event you attend. With your tickets, you can either pick them up at will call or print them off at home and bring them with you.
The concourse areas have plenty of room to move around, so crowding isn't going to be a problem. The restrooms are kept up to par and if you time it right, there isn't much of a wait to use one. Since Vivint is a large arena, there are interactive signs throughout the venue in case you get lost.
The Jazz are a professional franchise and provide a very good experience that will keep you coming back for more.
The Jazz have some of the cheaper ticket prices in the league, and they are very reasonable. They have many ticket packages to choose from, and there is always a promotion going on at some point during the season.
One point for the easiness of getting to and from the arena. With plenty of parking and public transportation nearby, it makes the game day experience that much smoother.
One point for the large amount of food options. There really is something for every tastebud, whether it's pizza, Mexican cuisine or something else you crave.
One point for the Jazz Bear. He really is one of the best and most entertaining mascots in all of sports. The way he pumps up the crowd and gets everyone involved is truly something special.
With the recent success of the Jazz and the upcoming renovations, now is as good a time as any to visit Vivint Smart Home Arena. Both the team and the arena are ready to take the step, so make sure you're a part of it.
Member Review by dmortimer on Apr 04, 2010
My pilgrimage to EnergySolutions Arena has been an annual event for as long as I can remember. Those joining me have changed (from my dad and brother to my roommates and now my wife), as has the name of the building (formerly the Delta Center), but the arena itself has essentially remained the same.
The 2010 edition of my ESA trip took place Mar. 6, when the Jazz took on the Chris Paul-less Hornets. My wife and I sat near the top of the upper bowl with tickets we bought on eBay for $18 apiece (Face Value: $17).
Member Review by dmortimer on Apr 14, 2012
It’s sometimes hard to believe that EnergySolutions Arena is in its 20th plus season as home of the Utah Jazz. That’s because, for the most part, it doesn’t look or feel 20 years old. Rather, ESA has stood the test of time and remains one of the NBA’s marquee venues.
118 North 300 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
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Salt Lake City, UT 84101
171 West 500 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84101