Jazz donating more than 32,000 nights of housing to Ukrainian refugees with Airbnb

The Utah Jazz are donating more than 32,200 free nights of housing to Ukrainian refugees through Airbnb, the team announced on Wednesday.

The move comes amid a much larger push by Airbnb to offer free, short-term housing for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country following Russia’s invasion last month.

“Connection and community have never been more important than it is today,” Jazz owner Ryan Smith said in a statement. “Millions of people have been forced to leave behind their entire lives in Ukraine. Airbnb.org is connecting host families with refugees in need, creating safe havens when so many communities are being torn apart.

“The Utah Jazz Foundation is honored to partner with Airbnb.org to fund stays for refugees who have fled Ukraine — enough to fill every seat right here in our own house, Vivint Arena, nearly two times over.”

The donation is among the first, if not the first, notable one from an NBA team since Russia first invaded Ukraine more than two weeks ago. The NBA suspended all business activities in Russia last week, which included digital and broadcast content distribution.

There are currently no active Russian players in the league, and Russia first started airing the NBA Finals just a decade ago.

The NBA’s two Ukrainian players, Kings center Alex Len and Raptors forward Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, released a joint statement last month calling for unity and condemning the war. Multiple WNBA players competing in Russia have since left the country, too — though Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner was detained in a Moscow airport after authorities allegedly found vape cartridges with hashish oil in her bags. She is still in Russian custody.

Utah Jazz
The Utah Jazz are donating housing for Ukrainian refugees through Airbnb. (Rob Gray/USA Today)