May 21, 2024 - News

Abravanel Hall renovations are estimated to cost more than $199 million

Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah. Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. Photo: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

As Salt Lake leaders discuss the future of Abravanel Hall, a new master plan estimates the venue's renovations will cost more than $199 million.

Why it matters: The project's price tag may determine whether officials upgrade or rebuild the concert hall amid ongoing discussions on a proposed sports and entertainment district downtown.

Catch up quick: The concert hall is the home of the Utah Symphony and has featured prominent performers since 1979.

  • Smith Entertainment Group, which recently purchased the state's new NHL team, is in talks with the Salt Lake City Council about the sports and entertainment development.

By the numbers: The master plan estimates renovation costs for the venue between $199 million and $216 million.

  • The projections do not factor in seismic upgrades to the venue, which could add an extra 10%.

Zoom in: Upgrades to Abravanel would include installing a fire suppression system that meets code requirements, adding new elevators to provide access to tier levels and improving the building's HVAC systems and acoustics.

What they're saying: Earlier this month, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson along with Utah Symphony and Smith Entertainment Group officials said they were in early-stage discussions about the future of the performing arts venue.

  • "There is a clear commitment to providing a world-class concert hall that continues to build upon the Utah Symphony's legacy," the May 7 joint statement read. "… We need to weigh all factors, including the high cost of a renovation alongside the benefits of rebuilding."
  • "I am working diligently on a re-imagined downtown and a district design that allows Abravanel Hall to remain in its present form," Wilson said in a separate statement on May 14.

Between the lines: More than 35,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to "stop the destruction, and possible reconstruction, or the inappropriate renovation" of the venue.

What we're watching: The master plan will be discussed at Tuesday's Salt Lake County Council meeting.

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