June 25, 2002 — The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) today presented the University of Utah with a check for $7,935,000. The money was the fulfillment of a contract entered into by both parties for use of the school’s Rice-Eccles Stadium. The beautiful facility was the site of the Opening and Closing ceremonies for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Rice-Eccles also played host to the 2002 Paralympic Games. The payment from SLOC comes seven months early and was not officially due until January 2003.
The money will be used to immediately pay down the debt on 50-million dollars in bonds taken out by the University to renovate the stadium. Renovation began in May 1997 and was completed September 1998. The improvements created a six floor complex on the west side of the stadium, which includes a press box and luxury suites. The project also increased seating from 32,500 to the 46,000 capacity fans enjoy today. Field lighting was constructed to provide superior illumination for Olympic Ceremonies.
University President Bernie Machen accepted the check from SLOC Chief Financial Officer Fraser Bullock. Following the check presentation President Machen thanked SLOC for the professional way it has conducted its affairs. “When we decided to renovate this stadium, we were looking ahead to the Olympic Games. The benefits to this institution have been substantial, and as you can see, we continue to be rewarded for our partnership with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.”
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