SALT LAKE CITY — Vivint Smart Home Arena’s usual hues of orange, yellow and purple have gone blue — at least for one night.
The home of the NBA’s Utah Jazz was lit up in blue Thursday as part of the Light It Blue effort, a national demonstration of support for health care and frontline workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Arena officials turned the lights on at 8 p.m. MT and will keep them going throughout the night, similar to other arts organizations, landmarks and other venues around the country. The building’s marquee and video screens will also flash, “Thank you to all those fighting on the front lines against COVID-19!”
Smith’s Ballpark, home of the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees, is also turning on its stadium lights in a similar show of support for doctors, nurses, health care providers and caregivers. The Bees originally scheduled Opening Day on Thursday before Minor League Baseball suspended operations due to the virus.
Instead, they'll celebrate "Opening Day At Home" — with a promise to fans.
Just like in baseball, the most important thing right now is to be safe at home. See you soon Salt Lake. pic.twitter.com/yRYdOzCI1u— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 9, 2020
"Tonight should be opening night," the Bees said in a video. "But we can’t celebrate together. Please continue to stay home and stay safe. We can meet back at the ballpark soon.
"We can't wait to see you here."
The two stadiums, both owned by Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, joined hundreds of stadiums and ballparks across the country in the show of support. All 32 NFL teams have lit up their stadiums in blue lights, as have venue operators from Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League.
The World Trade Center, Rockefeller Center and Columbus Circle in New York City are among the civic sites attached to the movement.
For a complete list of #LightItBlue and #MakeItBlue cities and venues, visit makeitblue.us.
The moment comes as high schools around the country are turning on their own field lights, many for 20 minutes at a time, in commemoration of the senior class of 2020 whose season has been cut short by the coronavirus, in another social media movement called #BeTheLight. In Minnesota, the state's high school league strongly urged its 23,000 Twitter followers to participate in the unique moment.
“At some point we’re going to be under these lights again, gathering together as a community,” Minnesota State High School League information specialist John Millea told the Associated Press. “To me, it’s like the ultimate sign of hope.”