It's a wrap! The 2017 Utah Summer League is in the books and you know what that means -- we're getting closer to the tipoff of the 2017-18 NBA season. The Jazz hosted the six-game, four-team event, facing off against two of the top three picks in this year's NBA Draft, at the Jon M. Huntsman Center at the University of Utah.
With the Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics all facing off with comprehensive TV coverage, these games do wonders for the U.
"Exposure is the biggest impact, and there was above average media interest this year thanks to the first and third draft picks playing for Philadelphia and Boston, as well as having the Gordon Hayward free agent situation unfold during the League," Mat Baer, Associate Director of Client and Event Services, University of Utah, told BlockU.com's Brittany Johnson.
If you think about it, people from around the world who probably hadn't even heard of the University of Utah, had their eyes locked on the campus for three days. With that kind of exposure the recruiting numbers will definitely see an increase.
"Not just for basketball recruiting," Baer explained. "In addition to the world-wide exposure generated by broadcasts on ESPN and NBA TV, the local community was exposed to constant messages and images from the Huntsman Center via TV, Radio and internet reports. There were also many children and their parents attending these games who will be making college choice decisions in the future. For some, attending the Jazz Summer League games will prove to be an in-person visit to campus that will positively impact that decision."
"There were many in attendance who had never set foot on campus. It also creates a unique opportunity for fans of rival collegiate programs to sit alongside Ute fans and collectively cheer for the Jazz. This also happens with Jazz games at Vivint Arena, but a very special dynamic develops when the games are played in the Huntsman Center."
Renovations are currently underway at the Vivint Smart Home Arena so games were played at the university. But this isn't the first time the U has hosted the summer league tournament.
"In 2016, the Huntsman Center supported the League by hosting games scheduled for Vivint Arena, but were moved in order to accommodate a large concert. Vivint has hosted NCAA tournament and Ute basketball games as well. It's a true partnership between both venues that maximizes the available exposure and revenue for the University, the Jazz, Salt Lake City and the State of Utah," said Baer.
Jonathan Rinehart, Vice President of Communications for the Utah Jazz said the relationship between the League and the university has been great. He said the U has even been very accommodating to NBA teams other than the Jazz who need to use their facilities while they're in town.
"I know even during the Jazz season, several teams come up here on their off days or for morning shoot-arounds. The University of Utah's facilities are fantastic -- especially the men's and women's practice facilities are really state of the art and we hear very positive things from other teams," Rinehart explained.
And as for the Utah Jazz Summer League coming back to the Huntsman next summer? Well...it's too soon to know but anything can happen.
"I'm assuming our plan is going to be to go back to our arena for games, but who knows. Maybe it's practice venues. Maybe there's other ways to continue the partnership, but it's tough to say this early," Rinehart said.
If you're reading this article and you're one of the many who attended the Utah Jazz Summer League, what's your opinion on games being played at the University of Utah? Would you like to see summer league expand to different universities in Utah as well, or just stick to playing at the Vivint Smart Home Arena?