Construction of the EnergySolutions Arena (formerly the Delta Center) began June 11, 1990 after several months of conceptual design meetings and negotiations with potential lenders. Sumitomo Trust and the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City saw the vision of Larry H. Miller and agreed to fund this new multi-purpose home for the Utah Jazz.
While the "normal" construction period for a project of this type is usually 24 to 30 months, only 15 months and 24 days were available for the completion of the EnergySolutions Arena before the Utah Jazz 1991/92 season opener. This ambitious endeavor was achieved through the cooperation and teamwork of hundreds of individual subcontractors and suppliers and literally thousands of workers both on and off the job site.
Sahara Construction of Bountiful, Utah established a joint venture, O.C./Sahara, with Ohbayashi Corporation for the construction of the 743,000 square foot base building. Sahara also acted as General Contractor for the 7.6 acre pedestrian plaza and the interior tenant improvements within the building. Time constraints required that "fast-track design/build" construction techniques be employed. This method dictates that design is completed as construction is on-going. Responsibility for the structural, mechanical, electrical and civil engineering design was undertaken by the General Contractor. Mechanical and electrical systems were designed and constructed by CCI Mechanical and Western States Electric respectively.
FFKR Architecture/Planning/Interior Design of Salt Lake City worked closely with the construction team to provide design drawings and resolve design issues during the construction process. Based on FFKR's conceptual design drawings, the General Contractor, with help from its major subcontractors, prepared a guaranteed maximum price contract for the Owner.
Excavation of the 170,000 cubic yards of soil began on an around-the-clock basis as design team members worked feverishly to complete the first design package for the footings and foundations. This process was typical throughout the course of the project as 61 separate bid packages were ultimately prepared.
The structural frame for the arena consists of about 37,400 cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete and 7,600,000 pounds of reinforcing steel. The project required 55,000 total cubic yards of precast and cast-in-place concrete. Throughout the facility, nearly half a million concrete masonry blocks were used in non-structural walls.
The 20,500 seat arena is enclosed with a roof structure weighing some 3,000,000 pounds. The building's exterior skin is built with 2,692 individual panes of insulating glass covering 83,000 feet and an elaborate system of synthetic stucco panels.
A significant milestone in the construction of this project was the erection of the roof system. To minimize the impact on other trades, a system for erecting the roof trusses was devised which concentrated the activity at one end of the building. The ten 92 ton steel trusses were trucked to the site in sections and field assembled. Once the first two trusses had been placed using a pair of "ringer cranes" working outside the northeast end of the building, the third truss was assembled on the ground and lifted into place 114 feet above the arena floor onto two 12 inch Teflon pads each bearing on a stainless steel track. As each 345 foot long and 27 foot high truss was erected and connected to the previously installed trusswork, the entire assembly was jacked inward 35 feet to make room for the next truss.
The EnergySolutions Arena , completed October 4, 1991, represents the commitments and sacrifices of everyone involved in this project: architects, contractors, engineers, government officials and personnel, facility management, Utah Jazz and Golden Eagles staffs, Sumitomo Trust, and especially Larry H. Miller. From concept to completion, the level of cooperation and the quality of workmanship have been exemplary. The success of this project is a personal tribute to the integrity and hard work of every participant.
Source: EnergySolutions Arena Website Facts & History
Salt Lake City is nestled between the Great Salt Lake and its adjacent desert, to the west, and the Wasatch National Forest and Uinta Mountains, to the east. The Utah Jazz are the beneficiaries of the scenic beauty surrounding this community, because they play in the heart of it all. Located in downtown Salt Lake City, the EnergySolutions Arena is also near renowned attractions such as Temple Square and the Mormon Tabernacle, and about 2 blocks from the Salt Palace, the team's first home after it moved from New Orleans in 1979. The Jazz played their home games there until the 1991-92 season.
The EnergySolutions Arena is a large concrete-and-silver, cubelike structure with plenty of windows; from the front, it looks more like an imposing office building than the home of an NBA team. One way to make sure you're at the home of the Jazz is to look in the parking lot for a distinctive 18-wheel truck painted with various depictions of western scenery and owned by Jazz All-Star forward Karl "the Mailman" Malone.
Because of the size of Salt Lake City - the population is about 160,000 - and the strong influence of the Mormon religion here, you are less likely to find alcohol-induced rowdiness or obnoxious fan behavior than in other NBA arenas. Still, while the Jazz faithful tend to be less vocal than fans in larger cities, the team has one fan who likes to get very involved: Owner Larry Miller usually sits in the first row, across from his team's bench. Before the game he is on the court, greeting his players while they warm up and dishing out high fives during the introductions.
Source: Fodor's Four Sport Stadium Guide
Directions to the EnergySolutions Arena
The EnergySolutions Arena is located just west of downtown Salt Lake City, approximately 10 minutes from the Salt Lake International Airport, at 301 West South Temple. It is two blocks from the Salt Palace Convention Center and Temple Square.
Wednesday, Aug. 11 8:01pm ET
EnergySolutions Arena damaged
SALT LAKE CITY -- A freak tornado that hit downtown Salt Lake on Wednesday left the Delta
Center with holes in the roof and broken windows on the exterior.
The 19,911-seat arena, home of the NBA's Utah Jazz and the WNBA's Utah Starzz, was one of the first buildings damaged when the twister struck about 12:45 p.m. MT.
No immediate damage estimate was available, nor did officials determine if there was major structural damage.
However, Friday night's WNBA game between the Starzz and the Phoenix Mercury was moved to the Dee Events Center on the Weber State campus in Ogden, 33 miles north of Salt Lake City.
"It would be premature to say when we'll have another event at the EnergySolutions Arena," said Evan Silverman, a spokesman for the Jazz.
Amateur video showed power transformers exploding as the twister struck the EnergySolutions Arena. A witness, Robert Stock of Toronto, described the roof coming off "like an orange peel."
The roof appeared to be damaged in long strips, mostly on the southwest side of the building. Large vinyl sheets hung over the side, flapping in the breeze about 20 minutes later.
"The roof is badly damaged," Silverman said. "There are patchy holes in it, not one huge hole. There are spots in the southwest corner where you can see the sky."
EnergySolutions Arena vice president Brent Allenbach said the other significant damage was several shattered window panels on the arena's north side.
"There's a lot of glass hanging there. Crews are taking it down from the most hazardous areas," Allenbach said.
The building shook when the twister hit. With rain falling into the arena, employees scrambled to cover the basketball floor with a large plastic sheet and protective plywood.
"Some EnergySolutions Arena maintenance workers risked their safety to cover the floor before we really knew what was going on," Silverman said.
The Jumbotron scoreboard that hangs above the court was lowered to a few feet above the floor.
"It was only a precaution," Allenbach said. "I don't see it happening, but if it were to come down at least it wouldn't fall very far."
In the arena's lower parking lot and an adjacent employee parking lot, virtually every vehicle had its windows blown out. Many vehicles also were dented by flying debris.
"Including my new truck," Allenbach said.
EnergySolutions Arena GETTING $5 MILLION UPGRADE
September 30, 1999
Copyright 1999 MediaVentures
Larry Miller, owner of the EnergySolutions Arena and the NBA Jazz, is
spending $5 million to repair the exterior of the arena that was damaged by
storms in August. High winds damaged glass and blowing objects dented the
venue's outer skin. Damage was so high that the entire building is being
resurfaced. The work is expected to take up to six weeks.
More than 70% of the building's 1,000 glass panes were damaged
during the tornado. Much of the roof must also be replaced. The work is not
expected to affect any scheduled performances.
THE ULTIMATE SPORTS ROAD TRIP
By: Andrew Kulyk & Peter Farrell
March 30, 2001 - The roots of the NBA and Salt Lake City can be traced back to 1979, when the New Orleans Jazz arrived in Utah to begin play at the small yet intimate Salt Palace. This undersized 13,000 seat arena served the club well through its early struggles. But as the team improved during the decade of the eighties, it became clear the facility was not capable of keeping up with the demand for tickets, nor was it going to be able to maintain the Jazz as a financially viable entity well into the future. With that in mind, the shovels went into the ground in May of 1990 for a replacement facility. And just a scant 17 months later, the Delta Center was dedicated as one of the NBA's newest showplaces.
|EnergySolutions Arena Ranking by USRT|
|Fan Support|| 7|
|Concourses/Fan Comfort|| 7|
|Bonus: Gateway Next Door|| 2|
|Bonus: Downtown Access|| 2|
|Total Score|| 53.5|
Outside the Venue
The Delta Center sits on the plot of land on the western edge of downtown Salt Lake. Transportation wise, this is an easy venue to reach, as it is a quick hop and a jump from the I-15 and the city's light rail system has a station that drops Jazz fans off just a few yards from the arena's main marquee. Parking is not difficult here as the immediate surroundings offer plenty of affordable lots and if you arrive early enough, free on street parking is available.
There are also plenty of establishments within a short walk of the arena for those who like to have some food and drink, or maybe just drink...wait a sec...Salt Lake City?.maybe not! Actually, there is one area of note just west of the arena simply known as the Gateway. This spectacular complex stretches for several blocks and offers soooo much in the way of retail and entertainment. The Gateway just recently opened at the time of our arrival so the finishing touches have not yet been applied. Even so, there already is a full scale multi-theater movie complex, a food court, and several new shops with many more to come before February 2002. Oh yeah...that Winter Olympics thing, which brings us to the North end of the Gateway where Olympic Legacy Plaza sits. At this end of the Gateway there are fountains, colorfully tiled mosaics, and more, all amidst plenty of public space as it appears that this will be one of the main meeting places for visitors during the upcoming Olympic Winter Games. Wish we could be there!!
Once on the Delta Center grounds itself, you'll note that the building sits diagonally in the middle of a square lot. This design helps to create plenty of room for a public plaza at the northeast corner. The well manicured landscaping enhances the overall look. While the design here is attractive, we couldn't help but notice the complete lack of activity in this public area. Not much in the way of vendors, music, interactive games and the like here. After taking a quick glance at the building's gray concrete façade with its terrific two way glass exterior (one can see the insides quite clearly) we decided to head inside and experience a night of NBA basketball, Jazz style.
This is a two concourse facility serving the two main seating areas of the arena. As in many of the venues we've visited, it is the lower concourse that provides most of the points of interest worth mentioning. Not much trouble to be had walking out and about here, especially in the four corners of the building where the design of the seating bowl makes these areas larger than at the baseline/sideline portions of the concourse. In one of these corners is a food court with plenty of seating areas. Also in this concourse is the team shop with everything Jazz, and a few Starzz can be seen as well whether you want to or not! Also located on some of the inner walls of the lower concourse are memorabilia displays of great athletes of the State of Utah and more objects depicting the great moments of Jazz basketball history.
In these times of conflict, the Delta Center has added a nice touch here, with the patriotic murals of local school children hanging from the railing of the upper concourse. These murals add some much needed color to a facility that oozes the color of concrete gray from almost every possible spot in the building.
The upper concourse here is very basic, concession and merchandise stands, etc. Yet from most spots upstairs a fan can look from the railing opposite the seating area alcoves and either see the action on the lower concourse, (including the team store...which has no ceiling to speak of) or of course the glass façade of the building itself and its view of outside.
Pretty standard fare here for the most part, especially in the permanent food stands. Though they do have some big names such as Pizza Hut in here. And just in case you were wondering, yes they do serve alcohol here in Salt Lake. If you are looking for the off beat items, then go check out the aformentioned food court, with carving stations for hot and cold subs, salads made to order and even tropical drinks.
19,911 seats, mostly light green are in the seating bowl and are split into two levels. Sandwiched in between the two is a ring of suites for those of you who would rather watch the game on TV and be there at the same time. The ads and dot matrix message boards are on the suite level balcony...no biggie here as the Delta Center has no LED boards or scrolling ads to speak of, just your basic mishmash of backlit ad panels and message boards. At least they have the out of town scores here! There also doesn't appear to be any of the preferred club seating seen at so many other venues here. Tucked in the corners at the top of the rafters is what appears to be four party suites, but with bad viewing angles they don't seem to get much use.
Retired Numbers and Banners
One of the brighter spots about the Delta Center has been the on court performance of the primary tenants. For the past fifteen years and without exception, the Utah Jazz have been at very least a darkhorse contender for a spot in the NBA Finals. During this amazing run, the Jazz have won the Midwest Division title five times and have been to the Finals twice, both times falling to the vaunted Bulls dynasty. Banners celebrating every one of these division and conference titles can be found hanging above one of the baselines. Opposite these banners are where retired numbers are hung, four banners honoring the late "Pistol" Pete Maravich, former coach/GM Frank Layden, Darrell Griffith, and Mark Eaton, who at 7'4" and 300 something pounds may have simply taken his jersey off and hung it there himself. And regardless of what Peter may wish to tell you, he was NOT named for the famed Pistol!!
You can bet there are two spaces already reserved for John Stockton and Karl Malone whenever (if ever!!) they call it a career.
Slam Dunks, Assists, and Fouls
Assist - As in Buffalo, a light rail station drops people off at the foot of the Delta Center. Here in Salt Lake, there are automated token dispensers at some of the arena exits for those who are traveling by rail to and from the game, as well as a map display of the entire system. Might we suggest something similar for the patrons at HSBC??
Assist - (literally) to the employees of the Salt Lake CVB who gave a helping hand to a couple of tourists from Buffalo in search of things to see during our short stint there. Thanks again folks, we had a great time!
By the way, the CVB is located as part of the old Salt Palace, and speaking of that old place?
Foul - (Sort of) The Salt Palace underwent a huge renovation in the mid 90's and it looks absolutely nothing like a basketball arena, or like any basketball arena ever existed there. That kind of peeved us just a bit (OK, just Peter) as we like to visit old hallowed grounds. They did do a splendid job with the refurbishment though.
Slam Dunk - No mention of Salt Lake City is complete without a few words about the main campus of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The main temple is a spectacular work of architecture and with beautiful fountains about and several statues of the Smith family (the founders of this faith), it is a real slice of Americana not quite found anywhere else!
A well designed arena with all of the amenities found in a modern venue with lush landscaping on its outside. That being said, the venue truly lacks a charm and an ambience found in many other places we've visited. The concrete with which this facility was built simply dominates the look and feel of this venue and that truly takes away from an otherwise splendid facility. Suggestion time folks: decorate this place with some large banners and splash plenty of other colors here to help make what is a nice venue a whole lot better. In other words...Jazz this place up a bit!!!
However, we know now what the rest of the world will find out in about three months or so. Salt Lake City is a splendid place?too bad we won't be there when everyone else will be!!