The Utah Jazz showed up in force to welcome their NHL counterparts

The Utah Jazz were on hand for their new NHL siblings.
Utah Hosts NHL Welcome Party
Utah Hosts NHL Welcome Party / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

Things are getting crowded in the sports capital of Utah, Salt Lake City. The Utah Jazz are going to be joined this coming fall and winter by a new hockey club, a yet unnamed expansion team, using the assets of the now-defunct Arizona Cardinals. You'd think with the new competition for fans, and the strain on wallets for people who want to both to both games, that there'd be some friction between the clubs.

But nope, despite the two teams pulling fans and funds from the same market, the two Ryan Smith-owned clubs seem to be getting along, and that was most evident at the most recent party at the Delta Center, where the Jazz faithful were on hand to welcome their new hockey team.

Former Coyotes star center and current Utah center Clayton Keller (out of Missouri) and company were welcomed in part by the star of the Utah Jazz Lauri Markkanen, who was on hand with fellow Jazz player Jordan Clarkson and club head coach Will Hardy.

According to KSL, the triumvirate sat near the unnamed team's general manager Bill Armstrong as well as team head coach André Tourigny. The moment of the night may have come from one of the team's defensemen, Juuso Valimaki. As he introduced himself as a defenseman from Finland, fellow Finnish pro athlete, and the Finnisher himself, Lauri Markkanen stood up to cheer; welcoming his countrymen to Utah.

It's unlikely the two men know each other, as their respective hometowns (Vantaa for Markkanen and Nokia for Valimaki) are two hours apart by car.

Still it was a celebration all night for the fans, and the new teams.

That all said, it will be curious to see how ticket sales for not only these two clubs but other pro teams in the Salt Lake City area do, as this new NHL team isn't only a major ticket, but an expensive one. Hopefully the city can end up supporting two very big clubs.