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Delta Center

EnergySolutions Arena
"ESA"
260px
EnergySolutions Arena in 2006; the arena's former Delta Center sign is slightly visible beneath the sheet covering it
Former names Delta Center (1991–2006)
Salt Lake Ice Center (2002 Winter Olympics)
Location 301 W South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah
 United States
Coordinates

40°46′6″N 111°54′4″W / 40.76833°N 111.90111°W / 40.76833; -111.90111Coordinates: 40°46′6″N 111°54′4″W / 40.76833°N 111.90111°W / 40.76833; -111.90111

Broke ground May 22, 1990
Opened October 4, 1991
Owner Larry Miller Sports & Entertainment
Operator Larry Miller Sports & Entertainment
Construction cost $93 million
($161 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect FFKR Architecture[2]
Structural engineer Ralph L. Wadsworth Engineering
Services engineer Olsen & Peterson Consulting Engineers, Inc.[3]
General contractor Ohbayashi/Sahara
Capacity Basketball: 19,911
Ice hockey / Ice Floor: 14,000
Concert in the round: 20,000
End stage concert: 15,000
Dirt show: 15,000
Tenants
Utah Jazz (NBA) (1991–present)
Utah Blaze (AFL) (2006–2008, 2011–present)
Utah Starzz (WNBA) (1997–2002)
Utah Grizzlies (IHL) (1995–1997)
Salt Lake Golden Eagles (IHL) (1991–1994)
XIX Olympic Winter Games (February 2002)

EnergySolutions Arena (originally Delta Center) is an indoor arena, in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, owned by Jazz Basketball Investors, Inc., the estate of Larry H. Miller. The arena seats 19,911 for basketball, has 56 luxury suites, and 668 club seats.

Opened in 1991, the arena was known as the Delta Center, until EnergySolutions purchased the naming rights, after Delta Air Lines declined to renew their 15 year contact, effective November 20, 2006.

The arena is the home of the NBA's Utah Jazz and the AFL's Utah Blaze.

The arena was also home to the figure skating and short track speed skating competitions of the 2002 Winter Olympics (during the Olympics, the arena was referred to as the Salt Lake Ice Center).

History

The arena was originally imagined as 20,000-seat home for the Utah Jazz and Salt Lake Golden Eagles to replace the since-demolished Salt Palace arena, which had 12,616 seats.[4] Under the leadership and private financing of Utah businessman Larry H. Miller, ground was broken on May 22, 1990, and it was completed on October 4, 1991 in time for late-October basketball games, at a cost of $93 million.[5]

The first game played in the arena was a Golden Eagles match against the Peoria Rivermen on October 16, 1991, which the home team lost 4–2.[6] The Eagles had also played the inaugural game in the Salt Palace when it opened on October 10, 1969.[7] The Eagles, which were purchased by Miller in 1990, lost nearly a million dollars annually and would not long play in the Delta Center.

The first basketball game played in the arena was a Jazz pre-season loss against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks, 101–95.[8] In addition to sports, the arena was intended to host large music concerts. On October 24, 1991, Oingo Boingo became the first headlining act to rock the Delta Center.[9]


The 1993–95 Western Athletic Conference men's basketball tournaments were held at the facility, as was the 1993 NBA All-Star Game. The Delta Center also hosted games of the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals between the Jazz and Chicago Bulls.

The arena's roof was damaged by severe winds associated with the Salt Lake City Tornado of August 11, 1999, costing $3,757,000 to repair.[10]

The facility played host to the 1999 US Figure Skating Championships. The arena was also home to the figure skating and short track speed skating competitions of the 2002 Winter Olympics.[11]

In addition to the Utah Jazz and Blaze, the arena has also been the home of the WNBA's Utah Starzz from 1997 to 2002, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles from 1991 to 1994, and the Utah Grizzlies from 1995 to 1997, both of the International Hockey League. Notably, on June 8, 1996, the Delta Center hosted the largest crowd in the history of American minor league hockey: 17,381 fans attended Game 4 of the 1996 Turner Cup Finals.[12] The Grizzlies won 3–2 in overtime, completing a four-game sweep of the Orlando Solar Bears and earning the IHL championship in their first season in Utah.

In 2002, the arena upgraded its super system with ribbon display technology and auxiliary scoreboards from Brookings, South Dakota-based Daktronics.[13]

The movie Legally Blonde 2 was partially filmed in the arena.

Dan Roberts serves as the official EnergySolutions Arena public address voice for the Jazz. He has been the Jazz's home game announcer since before the arena was built.[14]

The EnergySolutions Arena is well known for being one of the hardest places to play for visiting teams in the NBA. According to an NBA Players Poll taken by Sports Illustrated on February 11, 2008, the ESA is considered "the most intimidating arena in the NBA" with 20% of the vote made up of 240 current NBA players.[15] Many commentators referred to the arena as the "Decibel Center", a play on the name "Delta Center". During Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, a decibel meter installed at floor level had readings of over 110 decibels, close to the noise generated by a jet takeoff. Also, during the 1997 NBA Finals, Hannah Storm of NBC called the then-named Delta Center "one of the loudest places in sports"[16]

EnergySolutions Arena was the site of the West regional semifinals ("Sweet Sixteen") and championship ("Elite Eight") in the 2010 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. During the summer of 2010, EnergySolutions Arena was remodeled, which included the installation of Bear's Backyard, a playground for kids, a new dining area for adults and over 500 television screens. On June 17, 2013 the Utah Jazz announced that the Arena would receive a new scoreboard and ribbon display technology, including display screens in each corner of the arena. The new scoreboard and display systems were installed during the 2013 NBA off-season.

Renaming

The first renaming of the arena happened during the Salt Lake City Olympics, due to IOC policies about having corporate sponsorship for venue. The arena was renamed the Salt Lake Ice Center during the games.


After Delta Air Lines declined to renew their 15-year naming rights contract, which expired on September 30, 2006, the stadium's owner, Larry H. Miller, opted to sell naming rights to EnergySolutions, a low-level nuclear waste disposal company headquartered in Salt Lake City.[17] The new name was unveiled November 20, prior to the Jazz home game against the Toronto Raptors. Two stickers were placed on the court, covering up the arena's old name with the new one.[18] The temporary logos were replaced with official logos on the court sometime in December. EnergySolutions naming rights will expire in 2016.[19]

Initial fan reactions to the new name were predominantly negative. Early nicknames for the arena included "the Dump", a jab at EnergySolutions' radioactive and hazardous waste disposal operations.[20] Other suggestions included the Glow Dome, Radium Stadium, the Isotope, ChernoBowl, JazzMat (short for Jazzardous Materials), the Big Bang, the Tox Box, the Power House, the Hot Spot, Plutonium Palace, the Fallout Shelter, the Melta Center, and Energy Pollutions Arena.[21]

John Stockton and Karl Malone statues

Outside the arena are statues of two players regarded as among the greatest in the history of the Jazz. The John Stockton statue was unveiled on March 30, 2005. The Karl Malone statue was unveiled on March 23, 2006. The Jazz played games on each of those nights but lost both games.

Larry H. Miller Court

On April 15, 2010, over a year after the death of Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, the Jazz basketball court was named in his honor. The official name is Larry H. Miller Court at EnergySolutions Arena

References

External links

  • Official site
  • Arena picture
Events and tenants
Preceded by
Salt Palace
Home of the
Utah Jazz

1991 – present
Succeeded by
current
Preceded by
Orlando Arena
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

1993
Succeeded by
Target Center

Template:Olympic venues figure skating Template:Olympic venues short track speed skating

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