1 of 18
Silas Walker, Deseret News
Displays are set up and tweaked at the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Museum at the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City on Thursday, May 16, 2019. The museum's grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, May 18.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Sports Hall of Fame finally has a permanent location.

The organization will unveil its new location at City Creek Center to the public on Saturday with the museum being open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The grand opening is the culmination of a lot of hard work, spearheaded by Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation president Norma Carr. Carr is well-versed in Utah sports history and has made some history herself.

Carr enjoyed an illustrious career, leading the fight to have women’s high school sports sanctioned in Utah and becoming the first female referee to officiate UHSAA boys basketball games. She was also the first woman to coach Div. I women’s sports at the University of Utah. Carr later became athletic director at Salt Lake Community College, a position she held for 25 years.

Needless to say, Carr has seen a lot of Utah sports and following her retirement from SLCC, she became president of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

" It preserves the Utah sports heritage at the highest level. It’s going to be an educational as well as a historical site. "
Utah Sports Hall of Fame Foundation president Norma Carr

The Utah Sports Hall of Fame museum was previously located on the lower bowl concourse at Vivint Arena but was removed as part of arena renovations in 2017. Since then, Carr and her team have been looking for a location to showcase Utah sports history and finally settled on City Creek. The new museum is located on 99 W. South Temple, Suite 102, by the Nordstrom at City Creek. Admission to the museum is free.

Previously, people could only see the Utah Sports Hall of Fame museum if they knew where to look while attending Jazz games or other events staged at Vivint Arena. Carr hopes that the new, prominent location in one of Utah’s busiest malls will help draw in more people to experience and embrace Utah’s rich sports history.

“It preserves the Utah sports heritage at the highest level. It’s going to be an educational as well as a historical site,” Carr said.

The museum features a gallery where visitors can see pictures of all 233 (and counting) hall of famers in the museum. There are also interactive electronic screens featuring pictures, videos and history of the athletes and coaches. Eventually, it will feature what Carr calls “stories in the vault.”

“It’s hard to explain what that’s like until you actually see what one of those are. It’s just a personal, emotional story about them. We go in and interview them, we bring up clips and different things on them and then there’s a story they put together and edit and make,” Carr said.

Right now, the Hall of Fame has 20 stories done, but organizers hope to eventually expand it to include all of the hall of famers.

The museum will also have activities for children to learn about their sports heroes — like trivia and a photo booth where kids can put on jerseys of their favorite teams.

Carr also hopes that having a permanent location will entice those inducted in the Hall of Fame to come show their family and friends their spot in the museum. Occasionally, the Hall of Fame will also have book signings.

Comment on this story

“I think that will be one of the key things that we’re going to see," Carr said. "First off, those kind of people bringing their families, bringing their friends, and so on. Some of the things that we’re going to do is, periodically, we’re going to have maybe some book signings, come get an autograph, come meet type of affairs. We hope to have those kinds of things to help bring people in.”

The culmination of all the hard work will be celebrated on Saturday with the grand opening.

“We are beyond excited. I’m sitting in here watching them put it together. Every day it becomes more and more real. It’s phenomenal,” Carr said.