Around this time every year there has been a very popular event held at the Taylorsville Redwood Campus of SLCC. For the second straight year it has been canceled.
The Rocky Mountain Revue was a summer basketball league hosted by the Utah Jazz. It was held at the Lifetime Activities Center in mid to late July each year. Due to lack of interest from other teams, competition from similar leagues and a still-slumping economy, the event has been canceled for the 2010 season.
“It was really just a matter of getting teams to come here. They have some teams that are going to Las Vegas and to Orlando, so it’s just a shortage of teams to come here,” said Derek Garduno, the Utah Jazz Manager of Media Relations.
Since first canceling the Revue in 2009, the Utah Jazz have participated in a summer league held in Orlando. The new situation doesn’t seem to have any benefits for the people who were involved with the Rocky Mountain Revue.
“It’s definitely better to have it here. It’s open to the public and it gives us more exposure in our off-season. In Orlando you’re paying to go there so there’s really no revenue,” said Garduno.
The Revue was originally a summer league designed to give local players a chance to prove their value to the Jazz organization and have some fun. Scott Layden, who is the Director of Basketball Operations for the Jazz, invited a few more NBA teams to join the tournament in 1998. That proved to be a successful move and the Revue grew rapidly.
Some very big names and current NBA superstars participated in the Revue. Names like Amare Stoudemire, Kevin Durant, or local legends Karl Malone and Deron Williams made this a yearly tradition fans were very excited about.
The annual summer tournament was not only great publicity for the Utah Jazz, but an excellent opportunity for SLCC to show people why they were such a great school to be a part of. With the popularity of the tournament and playing host to fellow NBA franchises, the Lifetime Activities Center offered a great venue where people could comfortably enjoy a game.
“We got a lot of bang out of the buck. We got a lot of excellent public exposure by it. A lot of people who didn’t know anything about [SLCC] all of a sudden were on our campus, just in total amazement as to what they saw,” said Norma Carr, the Athletics and Recreation Director at SLCC.
Similar summer basketball tournaments were held in Orlando, Boston and Long Beach every year. In 2008, Boston hosted the National Democratic Convention. Boston’s summer league was temporarily moved to Las Vegas for the year. The move to Vegas created a completely new summer league and spelled the end of the Rocky Mountain Revue, at least for now. Along with the struggling economy and the new tournament, the Jazz was unable to get enough NBA teams to commit to the Revue.
“Boston couldn’t hold it so they moved it to Vegas as a temporary site. That started an animal that has killed all of us now. The Vegas venue is not the best for players to be in, coaches don’t like it, the crowds aren’t as good. It’s not even an NBA site,” Carr said.
Losing the money the Jazz paid to host the event has hurt SLCC. Also losing the revenue from concession and merchandise sales has had a financial impact.
“It hurt us. We usually got at least $10,000 towards the athletic budget, so it has hurt us that way,” Carr said.
Depending on who is answering the question, there is still a chance that the Revue could make a return to SLCC at some point.
“I think there’s always a chance of it. I think every year they’ll look at bringing it back,” Garduno said.
Carr does not seem as optimistic.
“We tried to return this year, we had dates on the calendar. They haven’t been able to get enough teams to commit to come. There’s a possibility but I think it’s real remote at this point. I’m sure they’ll keep trying, but at some point they’ll probably have to give it up,” said Carr.