The NBA All-Star game returns to Salt Lake City in less than a month on Feb. 19 and it will bring some of the NBA’s best players along for the ride to the Beehive State.
Most NBA fans in Utah likely want to take part in the weekend’s main event, but attending comes at a hefty price.
How can fans enjoy the fun of All-Star game without paying for the game’s expensive tickets?
The return of Jam Session
Jazz owner Ryan Smith understands the importance of making the festivities affordable for Utah families.
“When I was a little kid, I obviously didn’t go to the games and didn’t have money to get in,” he recently told KSL Sports.
Smith was still able to enjoy the All-Star game festivities by attending Jam Session, an event the league later discontinued, he noted.
Similar to the Super Bowl’s NFL Experience, Jam Session was an NBA theme park set up in the All-Star game host city with interactive events, according to the Houston Chronicle. Some of those interactive experiences allowed fans to try their hand at the same 3-point shots and slam dunks their favorite NBA players make.
Smith wants the youngest generations of Jazz fans to experience the same enjoyment he did, so the NBA is bringing back the Jam Session this year in Salt Lake City.
“We’re bringing the Jam Session back,” Smith told KSL Sports. “We want every Jr. Jazz kid, we want everyone in the state to be able to come in and have something to go to whether you’re going to the game or not.”
Jam Session’s return this year honors the 30th anniversary of the last time Salt Lake City hosted the All-Star game, which was also the debut of Jam Session, according to NBA.com.
This year, it will be part of the NBA Crossover being held in the Salt Palace Feb. 17-19 from noon to 8 p.m. The Jam Session will be a designated area in the Salt Palace with family activities like NBA-themed games.
General admission tickets for NBA Crossover cost $40 for adults and $20 for kids and enable access to the event from noon to 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online.
Other ways to see the stars of NBA All-Star weekend outside the main event
Jordan Rising Stars Game
Established last year, the Rising Stars Game allows fans to witness the league’s future All-Stars. The Friday night game will feature NBA rookies, second-year players and G League players, according to NBA.com.
The players will be drafted onto four teams that will play in a first to 50 points semifinal game. The two winning teams from the semifinal games will play in the final and race to be the first team to 25 points.
Tickets for this event range from $60-$300.
The event, which can be watched on TNT at 7 p.m., featured honorary coaches and former All-Stars Pau Gasol, Deron Williams, Joakim Noah and Jason Terry. The players are:
- Paolo Banchero (Magic)
- Benedict Mathurin (Pacers)
- Jaden Ivey (Pistons)
- Scottie Barnes (Raptors)
- Jose Alvarado (Pelicans)
- Keegan Murray (Kings)
- Andrew Nembhard (Pacers)
- Franz Wagner (Magic)
- Jalen Green (Rockets)
- Alperen Sengun (Rockets)
- Trey Murphy III (Pelicans)
- AJ Griffin (Hawks)
- Bones Hyland (Nuggets)
- Walker Kessler (Jazz)
- Evan Mobley (Cavaliers)
- Josh Giddey (Thunder)
- Jalen Williams (Thunder)
- Jeremy Sochan (Spurs)
- Quentin Grimes (Knicks)
- Jabari Smith Jr. (Rockets)
- Jalen Duren (Pistons)
- Sidy Cissoko (G League Ignite)
- Scoot Henderson (G League Ignite)
- Mojave King (G League Ignite)
- Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Memphis Hustle)
- Mac McClung (Delaware Blue Coats)
- Leonard Miller (G League Ignite)
- Scotty Pippen Jr. (South Bay Lakers)
NBA All-Star Practice presented by AT&T
Fans can watch the same players playing in the All-Star game at a more affordable price by attending the All-Star practice. Tickets for the upper bowl of the Jon M. Huntsman Center are only $50.
The Saturday morning practice gives fans the chance to say they watched the NBA’s best in person (while saving some money).
Ruffles NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
Smith and Jazz minority owner and Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade will serve as captains for the All-Star Celebrity Game on Friday, Feb. 17.
Team Ryan will be coached by NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo, his brothers Thanasis and Alex Antetokounmpo and Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn.
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer and two-time WNBA champion Lisa Leslie, rapper Fat Joe and two-time World Series champion Alex Bregman will coach Team Dwyane.
Notable members of the rosters include Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson, WNBA champion Diamond DeShields and actor Simu Liu of Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.”
The celebrities playing in the game are:
- Kane Brown, country artist and rapper.
- Cordae, rapper.
- Diamond DeShields, WNBA champion and All-Star.
- Calvin Johnson, member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- Marcos Mion, Brazilian TV host.
- The Miz, WWE Superstar.
- Albert Pujols, former MLB player.
- Everett Osborne, actor.
- Ozuna, rapper.
- Guillermo Rodriguez, correspondent on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
- Sinqua Walls, actor.
- Nicky Jam, singer and actor.
- Jesser, YouTuber.
- Simu Liu, actor.
- Hasan Minhaj, comedian.
- DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver.
- Janelle Monáe, actress and singer.
- Arike Ogunbowale, WNBA All-Star.
- 21 Savage, rapper.
- Ranveer Singh, actor.
- Frances Tiafoe, tennis player.
- Alex Toussaint, Peloton coach and Puma athlete.
The remaining tickets for the celebrity game cost $35. Tickets for all of these events and more can be purchased on NBAEvents.com.