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Year Opened: 1998 | Field Surface: Artificial Turf
Rice-Eccles Stadium opened on Sept. 12, 1998, on the same area that had occupied Rice Stadium. Rice Stadium was named to honor philanthropist Robert L. Rice, who donated $1 million to help renovate the stadium in 1972. Before that the facility was Ute Stadium, which opened in 1927.
The plan to create Rice-Eccles Stadium came about after Salt Lake City was awarded the 2002 Winter Olympics in 1995. Utah alum and bank entrepreneur Spencer Eccles donated $10 million from the George and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation to help get it built. Utah football has averaged above the 45,017 capacity in recent years thanks to the success of the Utes' program. With the Utes' move to the Pac-12, the stadium is expected to be expanded.
The stadium offers panoramic views of the Wasatch Mountains, downtown Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake. It hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Games.
The block "U" is a 100-foot-tall landmark in the foothills of the campus and its lights are illuminated as a way to let fans know the Utes are playing at home. The lights flash after a Utah victory. The structure was originally built with lime and replaced by a cement version in 1907. A major renovation was done in 2006 with more lights and a dimmer feature added.
Utah's Mighty Utah Student Section has raised quite a fuss in recent years. The 6,000-member MUSS has custom T-shirts and stand throughout the game. It also performs the Third Down Jump whenever an opponent is attempting to convert a third down and other routines during the game. After each Utah score, the school's Army ROTC fires a cannon called Ute Thunder.
Since 1971, the school with the season's best intrastate record among Utah, Brigham Young and Utah State is awarded an authentic pioneer boot, called the Beehive Boot. Through 2010, BYU had won 22 times, Utah 11 times and Utah State seven times.
Source: University of Utah
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