Salt Palace (arena)
|Address||100 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
|Owner||Salt Lake County|
|Operator||Salt Lake County|
|Broke ground||March 10, 1967 |
|Opened||July 11, 1969 |
|Closed||1993, 25 years ago|
|Construction cost||$17 million|
|General contractor||Alfred Brown Co./Robert E. McKee, Inc.|
|Utah Jazz (NBA) (1979–1991)
Utah Stars (ABA) (1970–1975)
Salt Lake Golden Eagles (WHL/CHL/IHL) (1969–1991)
The Salt Palace was an indoor arena located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Built on land that was once the "Little Tokyo" area of the city, construction was pushed by Salt Lake's bid committee for the 1972 Winter Olympics, which included Gen. Maxwell E. Rich, president of the Greater Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Calvin L. Rampton, and Salt Lake Tribune publisher John W. Gallivan.
Ground was broken for the county's "civic auditorium" in March 1967, and the Salt Palace opened in the summer of 1969 at a cost of $17 million with a seating capacity of 10,725. Later expanded to 12,666 seats, the venue was the home of the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association from 1970 to 1975, the Salt Lake Golden Eagles hockey club from 1969 to 1991, and the NBA's Utah Jazz from 1979 to 1991.
From 1980 until the arena's closing, the arena was officially named the "Salt Palace Acord Arena" in memory of Thayne and Lorraine Acord. The elevation of the arena at street level was approximately 4,300 feet (1,310 m) above sea level.
The first Salt Palace in the city was a theater and dance hall at 900 South, between State and Main streets; its exterior was sprayed with salt crystals to reflect the sun. The structure was lost to a fire in 1910.
When the Los Angeles Stars of the ABA moved to Salt Lake City following the 1969–70 season, the Salt Palace had a major tenant. The Utah Stars were a major success initially, defeating the Kentucky Colonels in the ABA Finals and capturing the ABA Championship in 1970–71, behind Finals MVP Zelmo Beaty. The Stars set an ABA attendance record in that season (6,100 per game), and would continue to draw well and field excellent teams in the following seasons. The team reached the ABA Finals again in 1973–74, before losing to the New York Nets and Julius Erving.
Moses Malone was selected in the 1974 ABA Draft and joined the team directly out of high school. However, the franchise declined with a 38–46 season in 1974–75, despite drawing 8,500 fans per game. Financial problems plagued owners of the franchise in 1975 and the team folded on December 2 (4–12 record), after the franchise could not make payroll.
Less than six months later on May 19, the ABA Spirits of St. Louis announced that they planned to relocate to Salt Lake City and the Salt Palace as the Utah Rockies for the 1976–77 season. However, negotiations for the ABA-NBA merger were completed and the Spirits/Rockies were one of two ABA teams disbanded in the merger. The fan support that the Stars received established Salt Lake City as a viable basketball market, setting the stage for the NBA's New Orleans Jazz to relocate and become the Utah Jazz in 1979.
The final regular season game in the Salt Palace was a 107–93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on April 20, 1991. Its final NBA game was in the second round of the playoffs, a three-point loss to the Portland Trailblazers, 104-101 on May 12.
Capacity over the years for basketball:
In 1991, three teenagers were killed at an AC/DC rock concert at the Salt Palace on January 18. When AC/DC took the stage, the crowd rushed towards the stage, trampling the three. Security tried to get the band to stop playing but failed to tell the band that people were being trampled for nearly 20 minutes, although the band stopped playing as soon as they discovered what had happened. Blame was pointed at several different groups, including the fans, the band, the security personnel, and the Salt Palace's festival seating arrangement. The families of the victims sued AC/DC, as well as other groups associated with the concert, in connection with the deaths, and eventually settled out of court.
- Irvine, Arnold (March 10, 1967). "Civic auditorium rites". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B1.
- "Ceremony Signals Start of Palace Construction". The Salt Lake Tribune. (Utah). March 11, 1967. p. 21. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Gross, Peter L. "The Architectural History of Utah" (PDF). University of Utah. p. 239. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
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- Swenson, Paul (July 12, 1969). "Salt Palace era opens". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. A1.
- Genessy, Jody (July 12, 2009). "Concerts and Championships: Salt Palace Marks 40 Years". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Davidson, Lee (July 10, 1015). "Killed by success: Whatever happened to the glory days of hockey, rock and ABA basketball at Utah's Salt Palace?". Salt Lake Tribune. (Utah). Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- "Opening Bid". Continuum Magazine. University of Utah. 2001. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "History of the Delta Center". State of Utah. June 11, 1990. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
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- De Groote, Michael (January 9, 2011). "10 Utah buildings we miss". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). Retrieved March 12, 2017.
- "Anaheim Amigos/Los Angeles Stars/Utah Stars Year-by-Year Notes". Remember the ABA. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
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- Pattison, Dan (August 29, 1974). "Moses ends drama, signs with Stars". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B7.
- "Moses Malone: from scared prep player to a confident pro". Lakeland Ledger. (Florida). United Feature Syndicate. March 30, 1975. p. 10C.
- Pattison, Dan (December 2, 1975). "Daniels sells four key stars". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. C1.
- Pattison, Dan (December 3, 1975). "Stars perish in sea of red ink". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1.
- Pattison, Dan (May 19, 1976). "Spirits move to S.L. is official". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1.
- "Houston Mavericks/Carolina Cougars/Spirits of St. Louis Year-by-Year Notes". Remember the ABA. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "New Orleans Jazz - Year Five". Hornets Report. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- Rock, Brad (April 21, 1991). "Jazz take care of business against Lakers". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1.
- 2013-2014 Utah Guide
- Israelsen, Brent; Bauman, Joseph (January 20, 1991). "Police probe 1 death, injuries at Salt Palace rock concert". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. A1.
- Gross, Jane (January 25, 1991). "Surge of rock fans; then death, grief and anger". New York Times. p. A16.
- Rogerson, Kenneth S.; Adams, Brooke (January 22, 1991). "Concert Stampede Claims BYU Student as 3rd Victim". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. p. B1. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Evensen, Jay; Jacobsen-Wells, JoAnn (January 22, 1991). "Did 'festival seating' lead to 3 deaths?". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B1.
- Evensen, Jay; Jacobsen–Wells, JoAnn (February 9, 1991). "S.L. County Finds No Negligence in Concert Deaths". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Funk, Marianne (December 17, 1992). "Families Settle Suits Over AC/DC Concert Deaths". Deseret News. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
- Ballparks – Salt Palace