Utah Jazz increasing fan attendance to 13,000 for first round of playoffs

The team is almost doubling its attendance for the postseason, after it most recently bumped Vivint Arena capacity to 6,700 on Aril 30.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) A limited number of fans watch the Utah Jazz host the Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA basketball at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020.

From the very first home game of the season, back on Dec. 26, some Utah Jazz fans have been clamoring for Vivint Arena to allow ever more attendance for games.

And as the season has progressed, the number of fans in the stands has, indeed, escalated.

Now that we’re days away from the start of the NBA playoffs, the team is taking a major step forward toward trying to create some playoff atmosphere.

The Jazz announced on Friday that attendance for the team’s first-round playoff series will be increased to 13,000 fans — between the lower and upper bowls, and the suite levels.

Mask-wearing will remain mandatory.

Tickets are also now on sale at utahjazz.com.

Some courtside seating will be available, though it will require proof of full vaccination and a negative rapid-response COVID-19 test at the arena.

The Jazz most recently bumped attendance up on April 30, when they increased the number of allowable fans to 6,700 — about 37% of the Viv’s 18,306 capacity.

Now, they’re set to almost double that in one feel swoop.

When the season began, the Jazz were one of only six NBA teams allowing fans in buildings, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, and Toronto Raptors — who played the season in Tampa, Fla., because of ongoing travel restrictions in place in Canada.

Back on Nov. 24, the Jazz announced their intent to allow fans at games by noting that there would be a “reduced seating capacity of 1,500 in the lower bowl only and limited seating on the suite level.” The number of tickets out/sold for the home opener was 1,932, though actual in-person attendance was 1,581.

On Feb. 1, the team bumped game capacity up to 3,902. On March 11, that was increased again to 5,600. On April 5, the team announced that, even with the state’s mask mandate set to expire, they would continue to require mask-wearing as a condition of attending Jazz games. Then came the increase to 6,700 fans, and the return of limited courtside seating — which requires proof of full vaccination as well as an at-arena rapid-result COVID-19 test.

Perhaps an encouraging sign for those hoping for increased attendance was an April 9 announcement from Mark Powell, senior vice president of events for Vivint Arena, that the building will “begin holding full-capacity events this fall,” although the first full-attendance concert slated for the Viv — country star Kane Brown — won’t be performing until Oct. 9.