Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith


Everyone welcome in to another edition of the which pot here with the new utah. Jazz owner ryan smith ryan. How are you good. Thanks for having me on man. Thanks for jumping in. Let me start here ryan you. You bought the jazz one point six six in that vicinity billion dollars From the miller family you were approved by the board of governors just before christmas. And now you're fully engaged. You're you're the owner of the jazz. You take over very good team in the western conference and you grew up a jazz fan. Which i think people have heard about you but in the short time you've owned the team ryan. Has there been some like as you're learning all the things that come with an nba team. Is there some perk or something or access that. You're like wow. I didn't know. Nba owners got to do this or had access to that in the league or something that surprised you so far that people would know. That's kind of cool. You get to do or you get to have access to is an mba owner. Yeah i mean look. I think it's been a three week process here even a little bit before that because you know we announced in we were kind of working through the the transition process. It's not an overnight thing I i was pretty close to the team i mean. I sat right on the bench next to greg miller. I always felt like i was part of it. But probably the biggest surprise is how much time is spent in the practice facility versus the arena. I mean we focus so much on the arena. And when i took over the team they hand me a badge and i walk into the practice facility and i was like okay like this is where the magic happens. This is where training happens is where the eating happens and as a fan that was as close to the team as i was not to ever experienced that world lii in we're only in the arena games forty nights a year for on average of four hours. But we're spending the rest of our lives during the year together in that practice facility is really where the hard work takes place that that was probably the most surprising the most interesting aspect of that for me. I am amazed. I become an arms race among nba teams just like in college with facilities. And the jazz is up there with anybody's somebody else comes. They study each other. They take from each other and then but yours is remarkable. And like all the little things i and i've been in there a few times and spent time and like i remember being downstairs with quin snyder and him talking about you know the video room where the guys are would always be. You know block walls like you're in a dungeon that's sort of the stories you hear about that in the older you know previous days in the league and he wanted to room with light he wanted big windows there. Because you get the press down there you spend so much time in there or the way you guys like you have that restaurant kitchen there that guys come through in can order meals and there's a big fire and like there was even like thought to how they enter the facility where they come in. We're at funnels them to and and then how they leave. It's really pretty i. I don't think the average person 'cause they don't spend the time they're realize and especially in the pandemic now where you you know you're gonna spend even more time there because you don't want you don't want guys out and around yours is pretty amazing. Yeah they the millers had done a great job going through one hundred forty million dollar renovation of both the arena the practice facility. And i i feel like i just found the best restaurant in utah and it's sitting in our practice facility. And then you know i think Both quinn in steve who who had been instrumental in designing it really thought about it is the way we would design any of our office spaces right where you've seen such a transformation both tack in the way that we go to work and our set up and i think that will even be further enhanced through the pandemic of how we all work together in work remotely in so i think i think our practice facility is just another extension of that and and i've seen a few of them in the league and i definitely like where where we've got in the bones of where we can't even go to improve on that ryan when you like. You said you knew the miller family. You sat there you had had you know it's funny. People see the jersey patches on uniform in league and that's become it's a big revenue stream for teams and you know essentially everywhere else. It's a product. It's a company and the jazz. I think he had to explain to people. What is five for the fight. What does that mean is that an. It's it was a fundraising mechanism for cancer research. That you started through quality tricks your around your company and so you knew all the you knew the players the players were doing commercials for you. They were a part of it. They were wearing on their jersey. You were raising Up over twenty. Four twenty five million dollars for it and so that was your entry point into the organization before you even thought right about putting going to the millers and saying hey would you think about maybe selling me the team. Yeah we we. We had this idea the millers that approached us and said you know what what do you think about being jersey sponsor and they brought in jersey with quantocks on it in a couple of years earlier. We launched this campaign of around crowd sourcing for cancer research and it started with a gentleman by the name of jon. Huntsman who huntsman senior. Who had who had basically develop this entire cancer institute around this in in you know a crazy story to even go back further. Was you know. I was a sophomore in college. I was working down in la. I was doing enter chip. And i got a call that no one wants to get. Which is my father telling me. He's got three months to live. And i came back. I dropped out of school. I was going to. Byu at the time. And i said you know what my father got three months. There's no more important than me. Spending time with them in he would go to radiation treatments. And you know there was some doctor up at the cancer center would come up with a technique that was the least invasive process to be able to get rid of his cancer or laser out his cancer and that saved his life and through the three months that we were together. My father was an academic. He was a scientist We came up with wall tricks and we started this company so instead of like going and fixing up an old car we decided we were going to build a tech company. And we're gonna do it in our basement and that's grown to be this twenty year run in the success stories and olive tech based on cancer. And i remember at the time. Going to jon. Huntsman at saint. Hey like the work you've done saved my father's life and look what's come out of it. I ever had any money. I'm going to dedicate towards helping you raise money for cancer and by the way the model. You've got where you get a bunch of. I network individuals to go donate big. Slots of of money. Isn't really sustainable. Like why don't we develop something that we could get everyone because it's just as your fight john. It's going to impact all of us to to come up with this. You know i remember before. He died walking in one day and saying. Hey we've got away to crowd fund cancer research and we've also got a way to do it with the nba and he was a huge jazz fan a huge basketball fan. And he said. I've always been looking at a way to crowd fund it and i've always been looking for a way to work with the nba. And you brought me both of those in one day and we decided that we were going to go all in the principle that we have aquatics. We're going to go all in on the patch. We're going to give it away to cancer. And i remembered partnering with the millers when the league's like just put your logo on. Why do you need a mess with this new innovation and the miller said nah like we just put the team a trust. We're going to give the patch to raise money for cancer. We said we're going to raise fifty million dollars in three years. We've got to twenty six million dollars in the hole. Communities rallied around in the players rallied around it. I mean last year our new team with boy on and conley hadn't even got together in the very first thing they did was a video shoot. It was a very first pitcher when they got to town of media day was doing something for for cancer research. And it's been one of the best and most fulfilling things that we've been a part of in Tricks renewed the patch last year for the next. You know the next term. I think it's three more years and it's something that's gonna continue in pretty excited about it but we saw the good that the platform of the nba could do. Because there's no way we would raise that much money and got that many companies in the community involved without the platform the league. I want to get back to that ryan later and talk about the leaks platform and what else you can use it for what people are using it for in the league now but you buy the team. You agree to a deal. You get approved. And while that's going on while he was just a formality with the board of governors which you have to sort of wait till the next board of governors meeting and and You get a formal approval but you can still have some. You could certainly have some interaction with the organization while that's going on your two best players or two most important players donovan mitchell rudy. Go bear are in talks for contract extensions. What was it like walking in. You're trying to let you said you had a relationship. You knew these guys. But now it's a different relationship as the team's principal owner and you're working with dennis lindsay the president and just zanuck the gm and the organization. What was that like walking in as owner and the first thing on the docket is we gotta get these guys. Locked up yeah. I knew that i knew that from july it was one of the questions that came from from the millers is like okay. Where are we at like these. Are the two key pillars. How's it going like. How do we build stability in the organization and in reality is is like we wanna build around dawn. We want rudy to be here long term. Now they were different phases almost in their second contract and one was in the third and You know we down one of the first meetings. I had with dennis justin in q. And steve impart him as trying to understand my style in at just yet plus. We've got a truncated free agency period with seven. It was kind of a pretty crazy time to come in and take over a team into the millers credit they said. Hey look this is. Probably one of the most important things that we're going to be doing as a franchise You need to lean in here. Because you're going to have to live with it for the next while in so But for me personally it was in the organization. It was priority number one two and three to say. Hey look we have a chance to obviously compete. I mean you saw what happened in the bubble. I think everyone everyone in the jazz vans. Were also laying on the floor with donovan at the end of the game going. Oh my word like we got a good t and how do we keep it together. And how do we keep the pillars together in with me as a new our ownership group is to come in and to have a chance to to take over with such a great staff and then the good fortune to have a young player like donovan. Who the best years definitely ahead of them and then rudy does so many unique things on the floor that we see in utah and we build that that operation around in our offense around in. Quincy's it It was priority number one two and three to get those done in to be able to look back and say. Wow we came in we bought. The team transitioned dealing with cove. It and we did that And then on top of that to have you know. Jc jordan clarkson wanting to come back to utah. Having derrick favors say i'm coming home. Have rudy saying hey. I want to be here that that speaks volume about the organization. What they've done in wanting to play for you in and we need to take that to the next level and that's that's my job and our ownership groups job to to to make that become you know what everyone wants to do. And i think is an absolutely special place and i think we're just getting started here ryan when you think about when you thought about what your role is as owner and the kind of owner you want to be. How much is that thinking evolved as you spend more time with your front office and more time with your head coach and more time with your your players to understand what it is. They need from an owner to make this whole thing. Work as your thinking evolved about what exactly how you should operate as an owner how you want to operate and has that changed even in a couple of months that you've been hunkered down with these guys. I don't know that it's changed. I actually didn't have very high expectations going in. Because i knew the strength of the organization. I mean we have. We have phenomenal leaders in this organization. And i'm just pretty fortunate to be able to come in with an organization like that. I also knew that. I'm going to have to find my rhythm. Whatever that is it. And i've i've run an organization with four thousand employees in. It's a pretty big tech organization with twenty five offices globally. I know that. I've seen leaders come in to the right and the wrong thing. I just wanna add value. And i think there's value in myself and our ownership group that we indefinitely added it connecting more of utah connecting globally taking the brand telling the right story of really what's going on in utah in then backing. Our leadership in reality is is my jobs probably to make one or two or three really difficult decisions a year and just be there to support you and support our players in in health them both on and off the court here in utah would ever i possibly can and You know denison injustice operated in a little bit more of a. They had someone like me. I would say in the organization. They've done extremely well. Taking over the the second winningest organization a franchise the last thirty years. I mean not. A lot's been broken. But i think I would just say. I think we're going to have to probably get a little more aggressive as we think about how to take this to the next level especially in a league where we've got a lot owners that are well-funded wanna win. And that's no secret in today's market Given where where teams are at. And i think there's a lot of stars in the league as well. And so. I i like where we are. I think we we need to thrive and strive to get better. You know people like to. They like to think even with owners like to put them in categories. Right there's the hedge fund guys and then there's kind of family heirloom group. And then there's the tech guys and that was mark. cuban. That was steve bomber. Now ryan smith is in that group. But i know you've got to know cuban Prior to buying the team did you look around and say even if it was outside the nba and say hey. I like how. They're running a pro sports team or how that owner has integrated themselves into the whole thing. Did you have some role models in that way. Do you find people now. You're even asking questions about and studying and looking at and saying. Is there something to take from there. Well i think i think you know. The comparisons are definitely looked coming out of the. They're coming out for a couple of reasons. Number one is. My journey is very similar to cubans journey bombers journey from from the world we come from I'm probably a lot newer to it. Because i'm still operating in that world. You know we've got. We've got a lot going on in that. World is well but i think i probably wanted to patent still want to pattern off of organizations and you know i look at some of these organizations whether it's the the celtics last week where they lowered their banners as the backdrop of a behind the hooves in the area. I saw the lakers do it. I talk state last night. reality is the that's really what we're missing and we've gotta go. We've gotta go model in that way. As far as a well run organization. I put the jazz. And what the millers done. And that's that's respect around the league. I mean i was on the ownership call when when gale was saying goodbye and they were introducing me into watch. You know ten different owners you know. Tear up a little bit and say. Hey what the millers have meant to the nba. What the millers. Larry meant to to my father or other people who were coming out They they've really done a class classic job in even in utah. It's always say it's a barack obama quote that they've always. They've always gone high when people have gone low and To be able to kind of continue that legacy and then put a a different in my spin on it You know the one thing. I've learned just from from all of this is is. I've already got a management style. I already am him a little bit. On the way i roll. And you know. I'm just gonna be ryan smith and it's a lot easier for everyone. There's one story. There's one group. I'm not trying to be something i'm not and Let's get to work and that's that's really you know it's it's been a successful model for last twenty years and i don't know everything i'm gonna make mistakes but we're going to figure it out in You know i bet on people and you know i think we're gonna take risks as well. You sold quad tracks to as sap two years ago for eight billion dollars. And now there's you're headed toward an ipo which might be another. It's been reported twelve or thirteen. Fourteen billion dollars a couple of years later. You did that in utah. Typically some tech companies. They go to california. Your stayed there and i part of right what did was think simplifying it right like part of it is helping companies with sort of their customer. Their user experience employee experience helping with experiences. And that's sort of. I imagine there might be some of that chat translates to the nba whether that's fan experience or and you mentioned it earlier player experience. And that's you know for the jazz. It's been like you said it's been a winning organization. And they've found the guys who fit who have loved playing their who've committed in state and others gordon hayward left in free agency and wanted something wanted something else but but how much of your job is figuring out what thought formula is to make that experience everything it can be and what translates from your business from your company's. Yeah it's been an interesting ride. I think i think if if i look at utah and and i'll get to utah in a second but you know. We work twelve thousand brands and quarterbacks in and we help them design an experience or improve the experience they already have. And if you look disruption in the world it's normally someone coming into a market that's already established and building a different experience on the pieces of that market whether it's uber coming into the hotel to the taxi experience whether it's airbnb coming in and saying hey look i think there's a new hotel experience out there and And then everyone kind of sits back and go yeah like why were we renting videos from blockbuster like we could have netflix's at our home that's a way better experience for everyone. Our door dashes now delivering so disruption truly happens in those experience gaps in so naturally come in to utah and say okay. What are the experiences that we have here in. We have a fan experience We have a brand experience both inside and outside of the state we have A player experience not only our existing players but our players that are coming in who are an extra agents that the second they get off the bus. What's that experience life than what what do we want people to experience in how do we. How do we actually call that. And then we also. We also need to win. And that's no matter what the experience is like. Winning is a great experience in show. I naturally look at the. The opportunity from the experience lends. And i've already started to say. Hey where can we improve and that. That's not the millers weren't focused on that it's just we always need to be improving that experience and there's always another level that we can take on that experience from the practice facility from our from our health and training to to the food in the family room right like all of that. All of that's part of that now when it comes to utah you know. I think a lot of people have asked me is like hey how does it feel taking over a small market. What do you think about. Small markets in reality is is the experience from the tech side is not a small market we are. We are a six out of ten last six of ten years. we are Top three and business growth. We are the number one economy last year the lowest unemployment on the amount of people. That are moving here you at tourism with skiing and hospitality. We have probably one hundred celebrities right now up in park city. India valley skiing vacationing. We're gonna have the olympics here. We got the all star game coming if you look at what goes on at southern utah If you look at the airport like rudy can go to sleep at five o'clock on a flight. Wake up in france the next the next morning. We're a bigger market a lot of different areas in. So i think there's there's definitely a story that we can. We can tell from an experience standpoint and actually bring those worlds together because they're a little bit fragmented in reality is they didn't exist seven or eight or ten years ago You know. I spent a lot of time. The parks Not one of my neighbors from utah. They're all from california are everywhere else. In in the migration out of the super cities to utah and other places especially during the pandemic. We are in hyper growth mode so you can barely find out how right now in in the price is definitely going up so there's a lot going for the state and when you add that many people in the type of individuals who are coming here over the last seven eight nine ten years especially with the growth. I think we have more and more funding coming in the new york city. Right now and so. We're definitely but but we need to work on the media side and we need to work on creating a better experience and a lot of different areas and that's one of things were focused on so we are super bullish on utah. And i think the partners that. I have joining me with ryan sweeney at sal in the the number one number two venture capital firm in the world going. We're bullish on the jazz. Were polish on utah. Mike brooks in australia. Who's build the largest company Tech company in australian or young forty forty one forty two Coming in and we got the next thirty years to build this experience out. We're pretty excited because the jazz are the largest really platform in the front door to the state when you look at the experience of black players in utah. African american players in utah in salt lake. Is that part of your challenge about if there's a perception of what it is versus. The reality is that something that has been at the forefront of your planning your thinking your conversations with donovan mitchell rudy and your players coach coaches. Your front office is is that ben at the forefront since you've taken over yeah i think i think as we look at the experience of utah. We're looking at all the experiences. And i think you know some of the work that we've done. Quality has been pretty impressive here. We've ruined relocating about four hundred different people a year here for the last four or five years and you know getting a much more. Diverse crowd diverse group. And we've kind of seen what works and what doesn't work and so is we think about everything were doing as an organization. It's definitely top of mind. I think that you know coming into the organization and frankly the nba. I think there were a lot of questions for a lot of people are saying. Hey what does the movement that that's gone on in. How can i go and help support our players. And how can i support our team But a couple of things. Surprise me when i got in to the organization number one is our fans are really truly behind our players now. There's people on social media who i don't know there are fans are not but as i jumped into the data. We were top. Four team in ticket renewal. We had one cancellation of a suite. That was pretty vocal about about some of the use of the platform of the league. I want to touch on that ryan you talked about. There was a company that had had a sweet in your arena for a very long time. Who was very public about the fact that they were no longer. They weren't gonna renew the sweet. They felt like they couldn't support the jazz as long as the nba and the jazz were supporting black. Lives matter and donovan. Mitchell who has been a leader among and that just players with the jazz but around the league you know he tweeted at. I think there was a story in your local media about it and data tweeted at. Hey it's your right to do that. Essentially walk away just like it's our right just like it's ours. Our right to kneel and and you tweeted over that and you said essentially listen. It'll be easy to fill the suite with all the amazing companies in utah and if the utah jazz i'm happy to take it over and give it to underrepresented minority groups this season. So you did it there. You have done it publicly since you bought the team. You've made it pretty clear where you stand. How you stand and that if you if you're not going to stand for these human rights if you're not going to stand for these values then you're fine with somebody like if that means they don't want to buy a ticket or they don't wanna buy sweeter. They don't wanna botch the jazz. You are accepting of that because it seems like this is a value for you that you're not going to compromise on. Let me tell you how. I've gotten their personally. I looked at my own organization. We have offices in twenty five different locations around the world and we are about as innovative as any company. I've seen as far as how we treat people how we change the work environment and how we use the platform to do good and is we got through on over the last couple of years on where we've been focusing whether it was gender equality whether it was pay intact if i were just to say to a ratio standpoint we were spending probably fifty to one efforts on other things as opposed to social justice issues and i truly believe that we have platforms to do good in systemic racism or unconscious bias around racial issues or social issues. It's real we had it within our own organization and it wasn't that people were consciously trying to do something we weren't active in saying. Hey we're gonna go use our platform to drive systematic change and we have equity problems across pay across race within our communities. And i just wanna look back and say. Hey i did everything i possibly could to make the world more equitable place. And i'll just tell you like we have not been doing everything we possibly can and people have been using the platform of the nba to go in and drive that change in. You know. I think the one thing that doesn't get talked about is how the players came together to have a very constructive around getting people out to vote. Were telling people out of vote. They were saying. Hey come out and vote and we drove more people than ever to boat. I think the nba has a big big piece of pride that they should have in that of using the platform to do good. That is a very kind and honest and earnest. Ask for folks in our group plans on using the jazz to in this platform to be able to drive proper chain. That frankly should have been done a long time ago but to help better our communities. One of the things that we're doing is forever jazz win this year. We're offering a four year scholarship to underrepresented or minority kid. Who can now go to college for every single wind and that is a great use of this platform to drive change. And we're going to continue to build out our community and i stand with our players in. I just couldn't be more proud of of how the nba's coming together. And i think that we're going to affect change for the good and that's look i've seen it with cancer. There's not a better platform in the world. Drive change and i look at what we've done and we have nine new cancer. Researchers sitting at huntsman. Cancer walking around with a fine for the fire. Oh we're going to have hopefully sixty new college kids out. There wouldn't have had a chance to go to college. And so we're excited about how to leverage the platform to do good and this is good. Yeah i think you're you're announcing that initiative think formerly this week i think is the first time you're talking about a publicly. I know your players know about the initiative. I had heard that there was a win in the preseason and guys were company like does. This count toward the scholarships which apparently it does right. Yeah that's right and it was interesting because we talk to everyone about it about what we're going to be doing this season. We're gonna be doing a lot more. That's just one of the initiatives we have on the education front. We've got something to have much more equitable health care economic opportunity. And we've got these task force that are greater where people in the organization players can get involved in. I hope it brings people together. I hope other companies can get on a partner with the jazz to help maybe create a lot. More than just however many scholarships we're gonna do but we're gonna lead out and it is not only to give folks money have had a chance. It's also like a lot of people. Don't know how to get the process. Going of getting the collagen and i've talked to enough universities. I started you know our tech company by targeting universities and so we work with almost every university out there and we're going to pair them together. It's going to be a marketplace where we will go to university and say hey we want. Five or six scholarships guaranteed what we're going to bring kids. Who have never had a chance to do this into your university. And we're gonna help cover the cost. Will you accept them or is there something we can do. And i think that the opportunities never been greater for that. And joe and i don. They were asking like okay. We had a preseason win. They're like this that counters wanted like. Yeah the council wins. Ah win in reality is were. Were just trying to drive change and you know i would rather talk less than just act more right now. This is a great signal of action in just like the players encouraging vote. That was just such a great action oriented move. And that's exactly what the intention was of taking a combined voice using the platform to do good ryan you. You've you've been public about this. You you talk to glenn taylor minnesota about buying the timber wolves. They've been sort of on and off the mark in recent years. I seem to be back on it. They are back on it now. How close did you come to buy the timber wolves. If you had kept pushing at it do you think you could have gotten a deal. There and just may have never happened. Well yeah. I felt like i was really close because glennon i got along really well and i think that I talked to adema bunch about you. Know you know my interest in the league At the end of the day it was kinda one of those things where it came down to my wife and she was like a ryan like. I don't know if you realize this but the real time we get together we drive up to jazz game and our our kids. Little kids were like. Hey like we we all are jazz fans and you know i know you think minnesota's only two hours away but i just don't i know you and i know how hard you're going to want to dive in like i've been around you for one time like i don't see that you're shorting all of your time. You're saying you're going to be spending. You're going to want to be off in in. You're gonna wanna put your little touch on it in in reality is i went to jail miller and i said hey like i'm thinking about doing this like would you ever be open to even a minority or sliver of the jazz. And she said now. Like i wouldn't be and this is february and you know glenn couldn't have been more of a gentleman. I called glen and said hey look man like reality is. I'm a jazz fan. And i love the idea being part of the league the league so contagious. I'm such a basketball fan. And even if this is my only chance of ever. I'm jasmine and so i called the miller's which is like what will be the best damn owners are the best ham fans. You'll ever see here. We're behind you all the way and then like we really burn the boat and we said we're going to be in utah and we're gonna be utah fans and and you know. Something happened in july where i just kept pushing a little bit and one thing lined up in a in. A soccer team came available. And i talked to the miller. Would you wanna be with me in reality is they. Were like well now. And i said well how about if i buy the soccer team and then we put it together with the jazz and and they said well. If we're going to do a little piece of the jazz we're gonna do the whole thing i said. Is that an option. And they said. Are you making an offer. And i literally pulled out. My phone looked at the forbes evaluation which. I don't think forbes really intends to do this. I said well there's your offer for the jazz. And they took it back. It was accepted. And that's literally how it went down and gail was super nice and she just said. Hey look we. We trust you in ashton. We know you're going to be great stewart on this and We hope you're the same age. As is larry and i were and we hope that you can continue for the next thirty thirty five years just like we did and i hope it's a positive thing for you and your family and you guys have a lot of fun and or behind you the whole way. And so. that's that's really how it happened in a weird way like. I don't know if the messages listened to your spouse in those around you because they know better. But minnesota's got a great team it would have been an awesome experience. Probably but i'm a jazz fan. I have been my whole life and you know in talking to to adam. I think one of the things that he said he's like ryan if someone's lucky enough to be a part of the nba. That's one thing but they're very few people ever ever ever have a chance. It's it's extremely rare that they they get to be a part of their team. The team they grew up rooting for what was there. Any part of adam silver at the time when you shared with ham. Hey i'm going to back away from this minnesota and for the reasons you just explained that he d- or anybody else around this industry that says to you. Hey listen everybody wants to own an nba team. You become available. You'll you've you're right at the precipice of getting this. You can't walk away from this. I mean did you hear some of that. I remember specifically. Remember calling adam and saying. Hey adam like i. I'm in utah. I like i can't do this. And i know that this might be d- opportunity. And i cannot believe i'm even making this phone call and i just explain the story and said hey look. We're about utah. And he could not have been more gracious he said ryan like. Don't do this unless you're totally committed and passionate about it And you can. You can really make that time commitment to be up there in in i. I had a lot of respect. I think it was interesting because you know he said when we called it was probably out of thirty teams. Probably the last call he would ever expect with the jazz and so Life's long and i think you know as young as i am. I also am trying to learn as much as i can through experiences like that. You know you don't need to force everything and Fortunately timing was right. Unfortunately quantocks has been pretty successful when i was in a spot to to be able to make a move. And that's that's pretty exciting. Listen you grew up a jazz fan. I imagine you have like a bunch of friends that you've had lifelong friends who you grew up together. Jazz fans jazz have limited. You're one of the teams in the league that are have allowed limited fans in But they'll come a point where you can fill your building again and do all that a. I'm sure everybody wants take. It's you're going to be there hookup now but how much you get now from your friends. They grew up with jazz fans. Hey make this trae do that. What do you what do we like. How much of that stuff where you're getting so far i really haven't i'll be honest. I'm surprised You know people are pretty supportive. I mean no one said a word. But you know when when donovan still got don and came back. Jc and. i've just seen excitement and people really excited. I think the the tickets sponsorships are all coming around. That and i hope. I hope these guys feel the support of jazz nation in reality. It's been it's been a weird season. I mean you know if i think about our players and our guys they haven't had you know we're we've got one of the most active loudest fan bases in the country and everyone talks about it and not hearing that group. Cheer for you for you know. Almost a year is is different. You know it's it's different. And i think it's it's been cool to have limited players in the arena. I'll i've heard from who have come in is. I didn't realize how much i needed this. I've had people just. Dm me tax me and say my soul needed this more than i knew. And the way spreading out with fifteen hundred fans. It's for safety protocols standpoint. it's pretty impressive. What are teams done to get ready and our staff in the arena. If feels incredibly safe. I mean i felt a lot safer inside the arena than i have it a grocery store experience store or or other places because it's such a large space So yeah well ryan smith. The new owner of the utah. Jazz and jazz are off to a good start. This is going to be this. This is my connolly's playing Has gotten off to a great start which is important for this team and your star players have been your stars this is this is gonna be a fun season and hopefully by the end of it ryan. You'll have in arena. I don't know. I don't know if we're going to have packed arenas by the end of the season but probably baby perhaps have more than fifteen hundred so good luck the rest of the way this year. This was a lot of fun. I'm glad we got to visit here and happy new year. Ryan yeah you too. Thanks for you do man listening to this episode of the woge pod a big. Thank you to our guests today. Utah jazz owner ryan smith. You can listen to archive episodes of the woke pod. Were every get your podcasts. Be sure to. Also listen to the low post with zach lowe in the hoop collective with brian windhorst. Catchy next time Do you own rent your home. Sure you do. Fortunately geico makes it easy to bundle your home and car insurance. It's a good thing too. Because having a home is hard work go to geico dot com. Get a quote and see how much you could save. Geico dot com easy.

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