Regarded as one of the top college arenas in the nation since opening its doors in 1969, the Jon M. Huntsman Center has provided an imposing home venue advantage for Utah's basketball and gymnastics. And starting this fall, it becomes home for the Ute volleyball team.
For a structure that in its 43rd year of existence, a feeling of newness still pervades underneath the silver dome. But don't let the pristine picture fool you. As serene as the Huntsman Center may look empty, when the Utes are on the floor and fans are in the stands, the place transforms into a madhouse.
A landmark on the U. campus, the Jon M. Huntsman Center is the perfect place to watch a sporting event. With 15,000 chair seats assuring a great view from anywhere in the arena, the Huntsman Center is the largest venue in the Pac-12 Conference.
From its perch at the southeast end of campus, the Huntsman Center stands sentinel over the University of Utah. Inside the facility are athletic coaches' and administrative offices and locker rooms. The enormous reflective silver dome is the largest of its kind in the world. Underground tunnels stretching 2,220 feet connect the arena with the four-building physical education complex.
The famous "steel cloud," a huge mass of steel and concrete, hangs from the dome's interior and holds the scoreboard, and the public address and lighting systems. The building was engineered in such a way that the cloud actually holds the dome in place.
Prior to the 2011-12 season, the entire Huntsman Center playing floor was replaced. A new, $1.3 million scoreboard was installed in the fall of 2007. The new scoreboard features an LED ring by Optotech around the bottom and four LCD video screens, which provide brighter, clearer pictures than ever before seen in the Huntsman Center. The scoreboard also features a player stat board and is 1.5 times bigger than its predecessor.
The locker rooms have also been renovated in recent years. The project was funded in part by donations from former Ute All-Americans Andrew Bogut and Andre Miller totaling $325,000. The Ute men's and women's basketball teams have new team rooms with double the space of their old locker rooms, separate dressing areas and players' lounges.
Long recognized as a site of championships, the Huntsman Center ranks third among the nation's arenas for the most NCAA men's basketball tournament basketball games hosted, with 81 games having been played in the facility.<