Utah Grizzlies focus on families, improving fan experience

Sponsored: Improvements include new jumbotron, endzone board and streamlined parking.

(Anthony L. Solis | For The Utah Grizzlies) The Utah Grizzlies have upgraded their jumbotron and installed a new endzone board this season.

The Utah Grizzlies organization has made the fan experience and families the focus of the 2022-2023 season thanks to sponsors like Mountainland Supply.

One of the biggest improvements the Grizzlies and Maverik Center have made is the addition of a new jumbotron at center ice with screens in all directions, a new endzone board, and larger LED screens that circle the ice.

“When fans come in, if they haven’t seen (the screens) since before COVID, they come in and think ‘wow, this is amazing,’” said Brian Prutch, Chief Marketing Officer for the Grizzlies. “A lot of the fans who have been with us since ‘97 have come and spoken to me at the arena the last couple nights and said, ‘Brian, these boards are incredible, this is the coolest thing we’ve ever seen.’”

(Anthony L. Solis | For The Utah Grizzlies) Hudson Wood, 6, meets the Utah Grizzlies team before their game on Jan. 28 against the Rapid City Rush.

One such fan was Hudson Wood, 6, who was invited into the locker room before the game on Jan. 28 against Rapid City to hear the lineup card being read and meet the team. He was nervous at first but said, “inside it made me feel happy because they were really nice to me.”

Hudson’s night got even better when not only did the Grizzlies top the Rush 4-3 in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,397, but the team signed a hockey stick for him and his favorite player, Victor Bartley, also signed a hockey stick for him.

“My favorite player is Victor Bartley because he was really nice to me and wanted to be my friend,” said Hudson.

(Anthony L. Solis | For The Utah Grizzlies) Annie Bish, 8, celebrated her birthday with friends and family at the Utah Grizzlies game on Jan. 28.

Another young fan who was in attendance was Annie Bish who celebrated her eighth birthday with friends and family in the stands and had her name broadcast on the jumbotron.

“I like being able to see the game on the big screens,” she said.

Part of improving the fan experience this season was improving parking. Instead of having to pay extra, parking is now included in the ticket price.

“It makes all the difference because if you give tickets to somebody, it’s actually free and they’re not saying ‘well it’s $10 to park,’” said Prutch. “We wanted to cut down on those long lines from entering. That was a big thing – to get people in quicker. That makes the experience a lot better.”

Ticket sales took a hit during COVID according to Prutch, but improvements such as parking and the new screens are getting fans back to the games. “We were able to have only 2,500 to 3,000 during COVID, so that was tough. And then you get out of COVID and it’s hard to get people to come back to the arena.

“I’m hoping now, with the parking, with COVID being over and with all the improvements to the arena that people will come for the experience and not just the game.”

(Anthony L. Solis | For The Utah Grizzlies) Mike Funk of Mountainland Supply drops the puck before the Utah Grizzlies game on Jan. 28.

Arial Eggett was also experiencing her first Grizzlies game and thoroughly enjoyed the night.

“It’s been awesome,” she said “It’s fun to see the crowd and feel the energy. I actually texted my brother and was like, ‘you’ve got to come to one of these.’”

“In our business, we look for partners that share our values,” said Mountainland Supply President Joey Liddle. “One of our Company Commitments is that we believe in enriching the communities that we reside in. Being a Utah-based company, and having over 600 of our employees residing in the state, we were excited to find a long-term partner in the Maverik Center. They truly espouse that same commitment to the community that we search for in partnerships. Joining with them in recognizing groups like our Military, and causes like fighting cancer, help us to live up to the standards that we hold ourselves to. I couldn’t think of a stronger and more rewarding relationship than what we have with Brian and his team at the Maverik Center!”

Some of the upcoming promotions sponsored by Mountainland Supply include Grizz Fight Cancer night on Feb. 24, Military Weekend on March 24, Marvel Super Hero Day on March 26 and Star Wars night on April 15. Tickets can be purchased at www.utahgrizzlies.com/en/promotions. Stay updated with the latest ticket promotions and theme nights @utahgrizzlies on all major social media platforms.