University of Utah Rice-Eccles Stadium
At the end of 2019, Layton broke ground on the expansion of the University of Utah’s Rice-Eccles Stadium, which included adding state-of-the-art locker rooms, two 177ft concrete towers, press boxes, and the Ken Garff Red Zone and premium suites that increased the capacity of the stadium by 5,637 seats.
During the first few months of 2020, work on a 35ft-high, 400ft-long radius wall began. In March of 2020, the pandemic hit, and with it came numerous challenges, from unexpected delays to material shortages. The Layton team quickly strategized, reorganizing the schedule into 12-hour days and ordering materials well ahead of normal schedule protocols. Often, materials had to be sent via air freight to combat the delays in the ports, making flexibility and quick thinking essential.
The project also entailed removing the 2002 Olympic Winter Games cauldron from outside the stadium to make room for the new bleachers. The team removed rusted 20-year-old bolts, found the original hexagonal rings for transport, built a tent at the airport to house the cauldron temporarily, removed 738 glass panes, and used over 2,500 metal clips to permanently secure the glass. After nearly a year, the Olympic Cauldron was returned to its new home and now rests upon a 25ft pedestal with a waterfall, positioning Salt Lake City as a potential future Olympics host.
Thanks to the combined efforts of Layton staff, architects, subcontractors, and the University of Utah Athletics Department and Auxiliary Services, the Rice-Eccles Stadium expansion project beat the odds, finishing in half the time as similar stadium projects and meeting the university’s goal of allowing the first Ute football game of the season to go off without a hitch.
®Aaron Shaw, Endeavour Architectural Photography
Populous, VCBO Architecture
University of Utah
451 1400 E
Salt Lake City, UT
Psomas, Inc. (civil), BHB Consulting Engineers (structural)