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Jazz offer first peek at planned $125 million arena upgrades (+video)

SALT LAKE CITY — A quarter-century ago, Utah welcomed "the place that Larry built" to downtown as it unveiled a brand new, state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue, then known as the Delta Center. On Wednesday, the team announced plans for "the place that Gail rebuilt" — which will be Vivint Smart Home Arena 2.0.

The announcement was made during a presentation for dignitaries, season ticket holders and the media at the venue.

“The arena has been a community gathering place for the past 25 years, and this renovation reaffirms our family commitment to the Utah Jazz, Salt Lake City and the state of Utah,” said Gail Miller, owner and chairman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. “The changes will benefit everyone who comes to the building for a sports event, concert or family show. We are pleased that the arena will once again serve as a first-class, state-of-the-art venue.”

Gail Miller, owner and chairman of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, talks about the upcoming $125 million renovation of the Vivint Smart Home Arena in downtown Salt Lake City.

The majority of the construction will begin at the conclusion of the 2016-17 Utah Jazz basketball season, with anticipated completion by fall 2017, said Utah Jazz president Steve Starks.

In June, the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City approved $22.7 million in tax increment financing in support of a planned $125 million renovation effort. The funds represent 18 percent of the project's total cost. The arena is currently among the oldest in the National Basketball Association.

Salt Lake City-based Layton Construction will serve as general contractor for the renovation project, with SCI Architects as the lead architectural firm and ICON Venue Group providing developmental, operational and project management support, Starks said.

The arena is scheduled to undergo a top-to-bottom makeover, including new luxury suites, food options, gathering spaces and upgraded seating for fans, he said.

The plaza will feature an extended entryway that brings visitors inside for ticket and box office services, said Murray Beynon, principal with SCI Architects. The indoor atrium will be the go-to meeting place with game night entertainment and the Jazz Team Store, he said, while the plaza will feature a video board for outside watching parties and a new marquee that will feature a covered stage with full-circle graphic capabilities.

Additional upgrades include a full array of rooftop solar panels, remodeled Jazz and visiting team locker rooms, technology upgrades for fans, such as mobile apps, high-speed internet, cloud-based technology and predictive analytics, he noted.

“The creation of interactive social and viewing platforms along with an array of new fresh food options will transform the fan experience on all six levels," Beynon said. "From the front row to the top, the guest experience will be improved for everyone.”

The team also announced upgrades for the upcoming season, including a new Larry H. Miller basketball court with refreshed paint and graphics.

Gail Miller said she hopes this investment shows Jazz fans and the community the organization's commitment to the people of Utah.

"We are here to stay," she said. "There is always the question of are the Jazz going to be sold or will they be here or not be here? This should make it (clear) so there is no question in (fans') minds that we are committed to being here and committed to getting a championship. We're here for the long haul."


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