No Utah Jazz? No problem; Salt Lake City sets new attendance record for WWE event

Lauri Markkanen and company may be on a break, but The Rock and the WWE came to town in a big way.
The Rock and Cody Rhodes at the WWE WrestleMania 40 Kickoff press conference. (Courtesy of
The Rock and Cody Rhodes at the WWE WrestleMania 40 Kickoff press conference. (Courtesy of /

The Utah Jazz make their home in the Delta Center, the arena that was built in 1991 and the place that the Jazz have called home for over 30 years. One day, probably sooner than we'd like, the arena will be a memory as the Jazz look to have a new place of their own sooner rather than later. But until then, the arena still plays home for not only the Jazz but major events that come to Salt Lake City.

With the Jazz on hiatus for about a week, as the league enters its All-Star Break, the denizens of Salt Lake City needed something to fill their time, and if some of the Jazz players are going to be in Las Vegas for the All-Star festivities, why not look to see what major acts are coming to town?

How about Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson? The movie star and former WWE megastar has recently returned to the company as not only a member of the company's board of directors but also, once again, as an on-screen character. Aligned with real-life distant cousin Roman Reigns (former Georgia Tech nose tackle Joseph Anoaʻi), the duo made their presence felt in Salt Lake City on Friday night.

Not with anything that happened in their squared circle, but by the impact it made on the area as a whole. While the folks of Salt Lake would likely love to have a major event like WrestleMania come to town, these SmackDown tapings are likely the best they'll have for some time.

And did the citizens of Salt Lake show up? According to Fightful, Salt Lake City saw its citizens break an attendance record on Friday, making the February 16th, 2024 edition of SmackDown the highest-grossing show in city history, and a lot of that can be attributed to the timing of The Rock's return and the Utah Jazz going on break.

The ruuckus crowd just proves what Jazz owner Ryan Smith says about the city, that fans are hungry for more entertainment and sports in the area, which is why he's such a proponent of landing an NHL or MLB team to pair with the Jazz and it's MLS team, Real Salt Lake.

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