The Utah Jazz have hired the Salt Lake firm of FFKR Architects to study whether the Salt Palace can be expanded by 4,000 to 5,000 seats to meet the team's need for a larger arena.
FFKR is doing the study in conjunction with a consultant from the firm of Ellerbe-Becket, which is currently involved in designing the $50 million new Boston Garden, home of the Celtics beginning in 1992; the Phoenix Suns' new arena; and the Seafirst Arena, soon to be home to the Seattle SuperSonics.Frank Ferguson, an FFKR partner, Wednesday told the Costs and Configurations committee of a county task force studying whether a new downtown arena should be built for the Jazz that the Salt Palace expansion feasibility study should be done within 10 days.
The study will examine adding more seats and how that expansion of seating will affect access to the arena, lighting, acoustics, lines of sight from seats to the playing floor and the impact on restrooms, concession stands and other support facilities.
A second study being conducted by the costs committee is examining market data to determine whether enough events can be booked to keep two downtown arenas viable, should a new arena be built.
A preliminary study done by another task force committee - the Finance Committee - indicates Salt County could realize as much as $1.7 million per year of additional direct revenue from conventions, other booked events and related attractions should a new arena complex be built.
A new complex could also generate as much as $1 million annually in additional sales and other taxes, according to the preliminary study.