Jon M. Huntsman Center
(formerly known as the Special Events Center
) is a 15,000-seat multi-purpose arena
on the campus of the University of Utah
in Salt Lake City, Utah
. The arena opened in 1969 and is named after chemicals
entrepreneur and philanthropist Jon M. Huntsman
, father of Utah's former governor Jon Huntsman, Jr.
. From its opening until the completion of the Delta Center
(now known as the EnergySolutions Arena
) in 1991, it was Salt Lake City's premier sports and entertainment venue. Architecturally, it is known for its steel cloud, which hangs from the arena's silver dome interior. The steel cloud holds the arena's center court scoreboard, sound and lighting systems. The scoreboard was upgraded in the 1980s with the additional of state-of-the-art rear projection video screens. The rear projection system was upgraded in 1995.
The arena hosted the 1979 Final Four
, featuring the first round of the rivalry between all-time greats Magic Johnson
and Larry Bird
. Magic's Michigan State
team defeated Bird's then-unbeaten Indiana State
in the final, which remains the most-watched college basketball
game in history. Many observers consider the Magic-Bird rivalry established here and carried into the NBA
when both entered the league that fall to be a major factor in the league's 1980s renaissance.
The facility hosted the 1989 Western Athletic Conference
men's basketball tournament.
Today the 15,000-seat arena is still home to the University of Utah's "Runnin' Utes" ... Read More