NBA All-Star weekend in Salt Lake: How to see NBA players for less

Blake Griffin dunks during the Slam Dunk Contest at the NBA All-Star weekend, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011.

Blake Griffin dunks during the Slam Dunk Contest at the NBA’s All-Star weekend, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in Los Angeles. The NBA All-Star Weekend is coming to Salt Lake City in February.

Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

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

This year, it will be part of the NBA Crossover being held in the Salt Palace Feb. 17-19. 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

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).

NBA 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 12 NBA rookies, 12 second-year players and 4 NBA G League Ignite players, according to

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 game will play in the final and race to be the first team to 25 points.

Tickets for this event range from $60-$300.

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, Smith told KSL Sports.

It is unknown who will be joining them, but comedian Tiffany Haddish, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, country singer Kane Brown and rapper Quavo played in last year’s celebrity game, according to Bleacher Report.

The remaining tickets for the celebrity game cost $45.

Tickets for all of these events and more can be purchased on

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