By Braden Clark
Natives of Boise, Idaho, took to Twitter Monday to give their opinion on the relocation of their Developmental-League, or D-League, basketball team to Salt Lake City, Utah. A collection of anger, confusion and shock were the initial reaction from the fans of the team, and majority of the anger was directed toward the Utah Jazz organization.
“Right, because Utah Jazz ownership basically lied to our faces. Good riddance,” said James A. Gentry, a Boise, Idaho, native, over Twitter.
“Tickets were expensive and the team was always last. Not a good combo. Kinda sucks though, still another team gone,” said Dean Craft, a long time Idaho Stampede fan, over Twitter.
The Idaho Stampede have been in Boise since 1997 playing in both the Continental Basketball Association and recently the D-League.
“I was somewhat shocked that the Jazz bought the Stampede last year, because the Jazz have a very low fan base here in Idaho,” said Will Price, a native of Ontario, Oregon, and fan of the Stampede. “My family would spend a lot of time in Boise, and whenever we would go to these games we would see numerous teams’ jerseys in the stands. They were hardly ever Jazz jerseys, and if they were they were likely Mormons, but the majority of the fans we saw were Portland fans and Laker fans.”
On March 24, 2015 the Utah Jazz bought the rights to the Idaho Stampede, and just over a year after its’ purchase the Stampede will relocate to the Beehive State.
“It’s such a downer, because there isn’t much to do in Boise when it comes to professional sports,” said Dillon Guzzle, a Idaho Stampede fan and Boise native. “The Stampede were our only source of professional basketball in the entire state, and it’s just really unfortunate that they had to leave.”
The Stampede will go through a name change and uniform change for the following season, and will be known as the Salt Lake City Stars. The uniform colors will be changed from red and black to blue and yellow to match the Utah Jazz colors.
Many factors came into play when the Utah Jazz organization decided to move the team to Salt Lake City, but one of the major factors was to ensure the development of its’ players. Other reasons are due to the weather conditions the state of Utah offers when transferring players to and from teams.
Transportation became very difficult for the organizations because the vehicles were often slow, and had to deal with things like the snow.
To reconcile the team would be moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and now it will be easier for head coach Quin Snyder and Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey to keep an eye on the development of these players.
The Stampede finished its’ final season on Saturday with a victory over the Santa Cruz Warriors. The Salt Lake City Stars will play its first games next season in Salt Lake Community College’s Bruin Arena.