Salt Palace (arena)

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Salt Palace
Address 100 West South Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Coordinates 40°45′58″N 111°53′42″W / 40.766°N 111.895°W / 40.766; -111.895Coordinates: 40°45′58″N 111°53′42″W / 40.766°N 111.895°W / 40.766; -111.895
Owner Salt Lake County
Operator Salt Lake County
Capacity 12,616 (basketball)
10,594 (hockey)
Surface Multi–surface
Construction
Broke ground March 10, 1967 [1][2]
Opened July 11, 1969 [5][6]
Closed 1993, 25 years ago
Demolished 1994
Construction cost $17 million
Architect Bonneville Architects[3]
General contractor Alfred Brown Co./Robert E. McKee, Inc.[4]
Tenants
Utah Jazz (NBA) (1979–1991)
Utah Stars (ABA) (1970–1975)
Salt Lake Golden Eagles (WHL/CHL/IHL) (1969–1991)
Salt Lake City is located in the US
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Location in the United States
Salt Lake City is located in Utah
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City
Location in Utah

The Salt Palace was an indoor arena located in Salt Lake City, Utah.[7] 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.[8]

Ground was broken for the county's "civic auditorium" in March 1967,[1] and the Salt Palace opened in the summer of 1969 at a cost of $17 million with a seating capacity of 10,725.[5][8] Later expanded to 12,666 seats,[9] 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.[10] The elevation of the arena at street level was approximately 4,300 feet (1,310 m) above sea level.

In 1994, three years after the Jazz moved into the new Delta Center (now Vivint Smart Home Arena), the Salt Palace was demolished. A convention center of the same name stands on the site today.

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.[11][12]

Pro basketball[edit]

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.[13] 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.[14]

Moses Malone was selected in the 1974 ABA Draft and joined the team directly out of high school.[15][16] 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.[17][18]

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.[19][20] However, negotiations for the ABA-NBA merger were completed and the Spirits/Rockies were one of two ABA teams disbanded in the merger.[13] 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.[21]

The final regular season game in the Salt Palace was a 107–93 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on April 20, 1991.[22] 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.

Seating capacity[edit]

Capacity over the years for basketball:[23]

Years Capacity
1969–1970
10,725
1970–1978
12,166
1978–1982
12,666
1982–1986
12,690
1986–1988
12,212
1988–1989
12,444
1989–1991
12,616

Concert deaths[edit]

In 1991, three teenagers were killed at an AC/DC rock concert at the Salt Palace on January 18.[24][25] 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.[26] Blame was pointed at several different groups, including the fans, the band, the security personnel, and the Salt Palace's festival seating arrangement.[27][28] 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.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Irvine, Arnold (March 10, 1967). "Civic auditorium rites". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B1. 
  2. ^ "Ceremony Signals Start of Palace Construction". The Salt Lake Tribune. (Utah). March 11, 1967. p. 21. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  3. ^ Gross, Peter L. "The Architectural History of Utah" (PDF). University of Utah. p. 239. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ Williams, Clarence D. (March 1, 1967). "Salt Palace' Contract Commissioners Accept Bid for $11,699,000". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. 13. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Swenson, Paul (July 12, 1969). "Salt Palace era opens". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. A1. 
  6. ^ Genessy, Jody (July 12, 2009). "Concerts and Championships: Salt Palace Marks 40 Years". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b "Opening Bid". Continuum Magazine. University of Utah. 2001. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "History of the Delta Center". State of Utah. June 11, 1990. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Acord Family Receives Plaque from Arena". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. July 27, 1993. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Salt Palace now in ashes". Deseret Evening News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). August 29, 1910. p. 1. 
  12. ^ De Groote, Michael (January 9, 2011). "10 Utah buildings we miss". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "Anaheim Amigos/Los Angeles Stars/Utah Stars Year-by-Year Notes". Remember the ABA. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Utah Stars". Remember the ABA. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ Pattison, Dan (August 29, 1974). "Moses ends drama, signs with Stars". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B7. 
  16. ^ "Moses Malone: from scared prep player to a confident pro". Lakeland Ledger. (Florida). United Feature Syndicate. March 30, 1975. p. 10C. 
  17. ^ Pattison, Dan (December 2, 1975). "Daniels sells four key stars". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. C1. 
  18. ^ Pattison, Dan (December 3, 1975). "Stars perish in sea of red ink". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1. 
  19. ^ Pattison, Dan (May 19, 1976). "Spirits move to S.L. is official". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1. 
  20. ^ "Houston Mavericks/Carolina Cougars/Spirits of St. Louis Year-by-Year Notes". Remember the ABA. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  21. ^ "New Orleans Jazz - Year Five". Hornets Report. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  22. ^ Rock, Brad (April 21, 1991). "Jazz take care of business against Lakers". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. D1. 
  23. ^ 2013-2014 Utah Guide
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Gross, Jane (January 25, 1991). "Surge of rock fans; then death, grief and anger". New York Times. p. A16. 
  26. ^ 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. 
  27. ^ Evensen, Jay; Jacobsen-Wells, JoAnn (January 22, 1991). "Did 'festival seating' lead to 3 deaths?". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). p. B1. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ Funk, Marianne (December 17, 1992). "Families Settle Suits Over AC/DC Concert Deaths". Deseret News. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 

External links[edit]