In one week basketball (NBA) fans will be tuning into the All Star game here on Sunday the 19th as the smallest arena in the country squeezes in as many fans, players, coaches, support staff, owners and VIPS to the Vivant Arena. Every year I like to bring my fav brother out to see a Jazz game, so I was curious to see what ticket prices were for this event. LOL! When I checked a few months ago the seats in the sky were going for $3000-5000 and those down on the floor a mere $45,000! Not kidding! If you wanted to impress someone and take them to the game to sit behind Team LeBron or Team Giannis you’d be out just under $100 grand!
Salt Lake City is going to make sure we put on a good show apart from the game itself. There’s a free snowboarding competition outside at the Gateway Mall Feb. 17 and 18 called ‘Gril Rail Jam’, free concerts and art shows on top of shipping containers at Gallivan Plaza Feb. 17-19th 1 pm-10 pm each day (open to all ages) and a free hoops contest ongoing Fridays-Sundays at Trolley Square similar to ‘Pop-a Shot’. There are other events under $50-just Google the NBA All-Star weekend events for more info.
What visitors might not see are lines of tents on North Temple and around Gateway of the homeless. Although Mayor Mendenhall has said publicly on many occasions that she wasn’t going to destroy campsites, she actively had SLPD and the health department sweep 500 West two weeks ago when the temps were in single digits at night. I watched them load new tents and sleeping bags that had been donated by different charities scraped into backhoes and thrown into dumpsters. One woman, sleeping in her tent, was picked up in her tent and thrown into one of the dumpsters (luckily lived to tell the tale). Methinks the Mayor will be having massive police and UTA police presence around TRAX stations and the arena and will most likely be very aggressive in hiding our homeless from the TV cameras and visitors during ALL-Star weekend.
On the flip side, visitors will see how vibrant our economy is and all the cranes in the air. The tallest building (Astra, 200 So. State) is 15 stories up, with 24 more to go. It will be the tallest building so far in downtown. Next is the site of the old Tavernacle on 300 So. and 400 East-31 story building that’s about 15% up in the air so far. Previous visitors will be impressed with the new Hyatt Regency attached to the Salt Palace that opened recently with terrific bars and restaurants. City Creek Mall tenants are drooling at the potential for increased sales but probably sad they can’t be open on Sundays…and this particular Sunday…to do shopping before the game.
Those fans flying in will gasp at how small the Great Salt Lake has become, how much snow we have and hopefully we won’t be sporting an inversion that week!