Donors to the new Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center will get a private tour on Aug. 15.
Aug. 12, 2013
SALT LAKE CITY--
Donors and dignitaries will celebrate the grand opening of the Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center on the University of Utah campus on Thursday, August 15. The Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Family Foundation supplied the lead gift for the facility, with additional major grants from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Sorenson Legacy Foundation. The center is the newest addition to the state-of-the-art Utah athletics complex on Guardsman Way benefiting all Utah student-athletes.
Members of the Eccles family will be joined by other donors to the magnificent $32 million, 150,000-square foot football center at the ribbon-cutting and private tour. The square footage includes the attached 19,000-square foot Alex Smith Strength & Conditioning Center and an outdoor patio.
"This football center represents an important landmark in the growth and positive trajectory of Utah athletics," said noted philanthropist and former Utah ski All-American Spence Eccles. "Its impact will be significant and long lasting, ensuring that our student-athletes have the finest facilities, faculty, coaches and programs available in order to compete at the highest level of excellence both academically and athletically. Our family is proud to help ensure that the best is yet to come for Utah athletics."
"Once again the Eccles family has gone the extra mile to help the University of Utah--and particularly Utah athletics--position itself among the great academic and athletic institutions in this country," said Director of Athletics Dr. Chris Hill. "Spence and Cleone's generosity helped to make this football center a reality and galvanized others to donate to this very critical piece of our football team's future. We are thankful to the Eccles and all of the donors to this facility for their commitment to Utah athletics and our football program."
The Sorenson Legacy Foundation Football Hall of Fame will be the first stop on the donor tour. Among the other features of the sprawling Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center is a technologically-advanced 17,000-square-foot sports medicine complex with a dedicated hydrotherapy center that allows the Utah sports medicine staff to utilize cutting-edge rehabilitation and therapy techniques. The complex also houses a 250-seat cafeteria, a 6,500-square-foot locker room with custom-crafted lockers, a spacious player lounge featuring large flat screen HD televisions, a theater, billiard games, a hydration station and group study areas, and over 47,000-square feet of offices, meeting rooms and team auditoriums.
Running along the west and south sides of the two-storied structure are observation decks overlooking the practice fields and boasting incredible vistas of Rice-Eccles Stadium, downtown Salt Lake City, the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountain ranges and the Great Salt Lake. The decks will play host to team get-togethers and alumni events.
"The Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center demonstrates to recruits, players in the program, coaches and staff, the commitment the University of Utah has to our football program," said football coach Kyle Whittingham. "This facility offers us the resources we need to compete in the Pac-12 Conference and nationally. We are deeply grateful to the Eccles, Sorensons and all of the boosters and former players who helped make this amazing facility a reality."
The legendary involvement of Spence Eccles (Utah '56) and Cleone Eccles (Utah '57) as enthusiastic Ute boosters, active volunteers and generous donors dates back to their student days at the University of Utah. Cleone and Spence, the former chairman & CEO of First Security Corporation and now chairman emeritus of Wells Fargo's Intermountain Banking Region, have both remained actively involved not only in Utah athletics, but also in a myriad of areas involving their alma mater. When Cleone Eccles lost her battle with cancer in early April of this year, she was eagerly anticipating the opening of the new football center and all that "her Utes" would accomplish in the coming season and the future.