The Jon M. Huntsman Center, a campus landmark and one of the finest athletic facilities in the nation, has showcased a multitude of major gymnastics events. Among those are an AIAW Championship, seven NCAA Championships, a number of elite competitions, the Championships of the USA, the 1993 World University Games Trials and a procession of NCAA regional meets.
Acknowledged as a premier gymnastics facility, the Huntsman Center was also tabbed as one of the country's top five basketball arenas by Inside Sports. Fifteen thousand chair seats provide a great view of the action from anywhere in the arena.
Bill Cosby was the first performer in the Huntsman Center, followed a few nights later by the Ute men's basketball team. And in the late '70s, after out-growing its gym in the HPER building, Utah gymnastics made its JHC debut.
The Huntsman Center quickly became a gathering place for major gymnastics events-hosting the 1981 AIAW Gymnastics Championships and the 1982, '83, '85, '87, '88, '94 and '99 NCAA Championships. The crowd of 17,203 spectators at the 1983 event set a two-day national championships' attendance record. In 1994, a then-record 29,172 fans attended the three-day NCAA Championships in the JHC. All eight years Utah has hosted an NCAA regional competition (most recently last April), it has been the top drawing regional site.
Fans pack the Huntsman Center to watch Utah gymnastics in the regular season too. On Feb. 11, 1991, the largest crowd ever to watch a collegiate gymnastics meet, 15,238, witnessed Utah's win over Cal State-Fullerton. In 1993, an average of 13,164 spectators-an NCAA record for gymnastics-poured into the building to watch the Utes. For the past 10 years, Utah gymnastics has averaged over 10,000 spectators per meet (more than any other team has averaged in a single season).
The Huntsman Center is a facility deserving of its reputation as a site of championships. In addition to prime time gymnastics shows, major basketball events such as the 1979 NCAA Final Four, and the 1984, '85 and '87 men's NCAA regional tournament were held there. The NCAA Men's First and Second Round Basketball Tournament is a regular visitor to the Huntsman Center, booking the arena from 1988-91 and in 1993, '95, '97 and 2000. The JHC hosted an NCAA Women's Basketball First and Second Round last year and has the men's tournament again in 2003.
From its perch at the southeast end of the campus, the Huntsman Center stands sentinel over the University of Utah. Inside the dome are offices for coaches and athletic administrators, locker rooms and concession stands. A 9x12-foot video display screen allows for statistical updates, instant replays and live meet action.
Still in mint condition, the 33-year-old Huntsman Center has kept pace as one of the finest athletic facilities in the nation.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME
The Utah gymnastics team is better than anyone at home. Including regional and national competition, Utah has won 95 percent of its home meets. The Utes have not lost a regular season home meet in 22 years-the longest streak for any sport in the nation. Not a single member of Utah's 2002 squad was alive the last time the Utes lost a meet in the Huntsman Center.
Home Record: 319-15 (95%)
Consecutive Regular Season Home Wins: 164
Last Regular Season Home Loss: Feb. 20, 1979 to Cal State-Fullerton
Biggest Home Crowd: 15,238 vs. Cal State-Fullerton, 1991
Although the NCAA does not keep official gymnastics attendance statistics, Utah's incredible numbers over the years are worth recording. Over the past 10 years, the Ute gymnasts have averaged over 10,000 fans per home meet. In 1993, the Utes set a single-season gymnastics record by averaging 13,164 spectators per home meet. Below are some other attendance records worth noting.
|(Two Day Format, 1982-92)|
|(Three Day Format, 1993-present)|
|REGULAR SEASON ATTENDANCE|
|SINGLE MEET ATTENDANCE|
|1.||15,238||Utah vs. Cal CS-Fullerton, 2-11-91|
|2.||15,168||Utah vs. Boise State/Washington, 3-6-93|
|3.||15,072||Utah vs. BYU/Utah State/Southern Utah, 1-20-92|
|4.||15,040||Alabama vs. Georgia, 2-1-97|
|5.||14,978||Utah vs. Penn State, 3-9-92|
|6.||14,679||Utah vs. BYU, 1-21-94|
|7.||14,097||Alabama vs. Georgia, 2-13-99|
|8.||13,956||Utah vs. BYU, 1-30-93|
|9.||13,563||Alabama vs. Georgia, 3-1-96|
|10.||13,443||Utah vs. Alabama, 2-1-92|
|11.||13,363||Utah vs. Michigan/UCLA, 2-20-95|
|12.||13,174||Utah vs. Utah State, 1-18-93|