The Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz will meet Friday, Oct. 11 at CenturyLink Arena, bringing NBA basketball to the Treasure Valley for the first time in 10 years. The game was announced Thursday afternoon by Idaho Stampede ownership and other officials. The Stampede, who play at CenturyLink Arena, are an NBA Development League affiliate of the Blazers. Stampede and CenturyLink officials are hoping to set an arena attendance record by attracting a crowd of about 6,000 fans.
TICKETS: Stampede season ticket holders will have first access to the game, effective immediately, and those who renew by April 6 will get 20 percent off ticket prices. Tickets will go on sale to the public Aug. 1, with a price range of $15 to $40. More details at IdahoStampede.com.
BLAZERS QUICK HITS: Coached by Terry Stotts. ... LaMarcus Aldridge leads the team in scoring (20.7 ppg), J.J. Hickson leads the team in rebounding (10.6 rpg) and guard Damian Lillard (a two-time Big Sky player of the year at Weber State) is a rookie of the year candidate. ... Team is 29-34 this year and wouldn't make the playoffs if the postseason started today (though within 3.5 games of the current No. 8-seeded Lakers).
JAZZ QUICK HITS: Coached by Tyrone Corbin. ... Al Jefferson leads the team in scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.2 rpg). He's having a career year, and will test the free agent market this offseason, as will Paul Millsap. ... Team is 33-32 this year and wouldn't make the playoffs if the postseason started today (though within a half game of the current No. 8-seeded Lakers).
NBA HISTORY IN THE VALLEY: CenturyLink Arena will become the third local venue to host an NBA preseason game - Taco Bell Arena and the Idaho Center also have hosted games involving the Jazz, Knicks, Sonics, Nuggets, Wizards and Lakers. The last game was played in October 2003, when the Jazz beat the Knicks 81-65 before 9,114 fans at Taco Bell Arena. The Jazz have previously hosted training camps at Taco Bell Arena.