Rep. Chris Stewart to boycott Utah Jazz over vaccine mandate

Photo: Facebook/Rep. Chris Stewart

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 24, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said Thursday he intends to boycott the Utah Jazz this season after the announcement Friday that Vivint Arena will require guests to present proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event.

Stewart, who is vaccinated, posted on Facebook:

“I’ve loved the Jazz since I was a teenager. I still remember the excitement I felt when they announced the team’s move to Utah. Then, as my own kids grew up, my family spent countless nights watching the games, and countless dinners talking about them. Because I served in the military, we didn’t live here in Utah, but we always found a way to follow every game. More recently, in a world where so many things have turned contentious and divisive, the Jazz were an opportunity to bring us together.

“That’s why I will miss them.

“I have been vaccinated. Short of an overriding medical concern, religious teaching, or some other consideration such as a pregnancy, I have encouraged others to be vaccinated as well.

“But I will never allow a private company to require that I show proof of any medical procedure to visit their facility. I will never carry a vaccination passport. I will never share any of my private medical information with anyone except my health providers.

“So, though vaccinated, I will not be going to any Utah Jazz games this year. Next year, if the Jazz leadership changes their policy, maybe I’ll come back.

“Or maybe I’ll just move on.”

Vivint Arena officials said in a news release the mandate applies to guests all guests ages 12 and older. A person currently is considered fully vaccinated if they can document that at least 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccination course. Full COVID-19 vaccination is already required for all employees working events at Vivint Arena.

Guests under the age of 12 will be permitted to enter Vivint Arena if they wear a mask at all times while inside the venue. All other guests are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask, but it is not mandatory.

The policy will be in place until further notice and could be modified at any time, the news release said.

The arena is accepting the following forms of physical proof of vaccination:

  • A CDC-issued vaccination card including the name of the person vaccinated, the type of vaccination provided and the date that the last dose was administered
  • A digital photo of a CDC-issued vaccination card stored on a phone or electronic device
  • A printed photo of a CDC-issued vaccination card

The following are acceptable as proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test:

  • A digital photo of negative COVID-19 PCR test results that matches the personal identification of the individual
  • A printed photo of negative COVID-19 PCR test results that matches the personal identification of the individual

“As a community gathering place, we have a responsibility to protect our guests by putting health and safety standards in place,” said Jim Olson, president of Vivint Arena and the Utah Jazz. “The Delta variant is a threat to the sports and entertainment industry and our community at large. We ask Jazz fans to get vaccinated to help stop the surge. We stand united with health care professionals on the importance of vaccinations. We believe this is the path forward to shut down this pandemic.”

The new entrance process will go into effect Thursday, Sept. 30 with the Frozen Fury NHL preseason game between the LA Kings and Vegas Golden Knights. The Jazz will play preseason games on Oct. 11 and Oct. 13 at Vivint Arena with their NBA season opener set for Oct. 20.

In addition to Jazz games, upcoming events that will require a vaccine include a Michael Bublé concert on Oct. 1; Kane Brown concert on Oct. 9; Dan + Shay concert on Oct. 23; Andrea Bocelli concert on Oct. 30; Disney on Ice show on Nov. 4-7; Lany concert on Nov. 10; Trans-Siberian Orchestra on Nov. 24; Jim Gaffigan show on Dec. 10-11; Luke Combs concert on Dec. 16; Monster Jam Trucks show on Jan. 7-9; and JoJo Siwa concert on Jan. 16.


  1. Rep. Chris Stewart to boycott Utah Jazz over vaccine mandate, Shame on you, anyway! you are not in Utah enough to make a big difference!

  2. I would have thought that the people of Utah would have set a example of fighting the virus by vaccination support. When I think of all the lives that could have been saved and the businesses that could have reopened safely IF the choices of good people had been different my heart breaks. Would Rep. Stewart boycott driving because a law is passed that says he must wear a seat belt or drive under certain speed limits? Not likely. Utah people are dying needlessly because they are refusing what I would consider to be answer to prayers. They are not only a danger to themselves but to others. That the Utah Jazz have enough courage to make an effort to protect their fans from the bad choices of others makes me proud that they have the courage to stand up and do what needs to be done in this sad time!

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