48. Looser Restrictions For Jazz Players And Fans

Sep 2, 2021, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:28 pm
Fans social distance as they watch the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz NBA basketball game at Vivint ...
Fans social distance as they watch the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz NBA basketball game at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (Courtesy of Deseret News)
(Courtesy of Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz open their season on October 20, just 48 days from today. With the clock ticking, we look at 50 things for Jazz fans to be excited about leading up to the 2021-22 NBA season. Today, in our third installment we look at the reduced restrictions for players and fans heading into the season.

Looser Restrictions For Jazz Players And Fans

Last season was unlike any other in the history of the NBA as arenas were either partially full or in the case of a few teams, completely empty for most of the season.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing, attendance limits, and public ordinances dramatically changed the way fans consumed the game in person.

While the NBA hasn’t released its official fan protocols for the upcoming season, arenas were already filling back up throughout the playoffs, including the Jazz who were at full capacity at Vivint Arena during the second round of the playoffs.

During the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League, the Thomas and Mack Center was filled to capacity, though fans were required to wear a mask while in the arena.

While there will certainly be safety precautions taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within every NBA arena, fans should not expect sharp cuts in ticket sales for those wanting to attend games, making it easier and more enjoyable to watch their favorite team in person.

However, some teams are requiring proof of vaccine before entering their arena. The Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, and Golden State Warriors have announced that fans must show that they are free from the virus before attending a game.

Similarly, Jazz players should find themselves less burdened by COVID-19 restrictions during the upcoming season. On Thursday, reports emerged that the league would loosen the testing rules for players who have received the coronavirus vaccine.

“Unvaccinated players will have to undergo testing on game days and practice days and, depending on team schedules, could have to test twice on some game days,” according to ESPN.

“Vaccinated players will not undergo daily testing and will only be tested if they have symptoms themselves or are exposed to someone confirmed as COVID-19 positive.”

Additionally, unvaccinated players are expected to face stiffer restrictions during team meals, flights, and bus trips.

Last season, daily testing proved to be strenuous on teams, especially in road and back-to-back games which limited preparation between contests.

“Some of the preparation, the toll of the protocols, the fatigue of a mask, particularly when guys who’ve been away for a little bit, you come back and the standards are even greater,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of adjusting to the league’s rule last season. “But it’s something everybody’s going through. We understand why everybody’s trying to stay safe and healthy so we can continue to play.”

Last week, the NBA announced every arena employee that will be within 15-feet of the league’s players, including coaches, training staff, and game night employees must be vaccinated ahead of the 2021-22 season.

The NBA’s referee’s union also announced that all league officials will be vaccinated ahead of the season.

After what was unquestionably the strangest NBA season last year, fans and players experiencing fewer restrictions in larger crowds is number 48 on our list of 50 things for Jazz fans to look forward to this season.

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48. Looser Restrictions For Jazz Players And Fans