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DELTA CENTER LIFTS OFF RIGHT ON SCHEDULE

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"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows no victory nor defeat" - Teddy Roosevelt.

Larry H. Miller, Salt Lake businessman and owner of the Utah Jazz, said those words were one of the things that drove him in his feverish efforts to complete the Delta Center.After discarding his suit coat, tie and dress shirt, Miller turned to tearfully address thousands of guests attending the dedication of the new $93 million sports arena, located at 100 S. 300 West.

"One of the most exciting things about this building is it should enhance our sense of community," he said.

A native of Utah, he said he wants to be remembered as a friend of Utah.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to give something back," he said. "Utah is without question the best place I know to live, to do business and to raise a family."

Miller said he hoped the people of Utah realized what an asset the facility could and will be to the entire state. The most recognized reason for the construction of the arena was to ensure Salt Lake City's ability to retain ownership of the Utah Jazz.

Construction on the Delta Center began June 11, 1990, and ended Oct. 4, 1991 - a record construction of an arena in the United States. When Miller asked city, county and state government officials for their support, he promised the arena would be ready for the 1991-92 Jazz season.

The arena will hold 20,400 people, and has 80,300 square feet of glass. Frank Ferguson, one of the architects who designed the building, said he wanted it to be an "urban lantern."

Actor Wilford Brimley, Gov. Norm Bangerter, Jazz center Mark Eaton, chairman of the board of Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co., Mr. O. Sakurai, were among the 15 people who spoke thanking Miller and his family for their vision and determination. President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offered a dedicatory prayer.

"I knew it was going to be beautiful, but I'm just overwhelmed," said Jan Thorpe, a Jazz fan. "It's just gorgeous and a real asset to the community."