You’d be forgiven if you mistook the new Ken Garff Red Zone at Rice-Eccles Stadium for an NFL facility. The locker room, sports medicine facilities, hospitality areas, and other spaces are truly exceptional. It also added nearly 5,000 new seats, including premium and box, bringing capacity at Rice-Eccles to 51,444. “This really put us on the next level for our fan and student-athlete experience,” says Associate Athletics Director Sean Farrell BA’07 MBA’12. Completed last year, it was possible thanks to a $21.5 million gift from the Garff family—the largest single gift in U Athletics history.
The expansion on the south end of the stadium is meant to be used year-round through the Ken Garff Scholarship Club, adds Farrell. Starting at $30 per month, club membership includes a complimentary hospitality station in the mornings, access to an upscale restaurant, events, and private areas for meetings, seminars, weddings, and more. All initiation membership fees and a portion of club revenue go to fund U scholarships. Members also have the opportunity to join the Champion League, a group of donors committed to supporting long-term student scholarships.
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While the new Ken Garff Red Zone is impressive and fortunate that private donations funded the expansion, what is unfortunate is that the Marching Utes lost their locker/storage space. The Marching Utes commit a lot of time to support the football team, alumni and fans-with 12 hour/day 2-week band camp at the start of the season; 8-10 hrs on game days; and daily/weekly rehearsals. They sit in the stands during inclement weather with no heaters, etc.
The students lost a storage place to put their belongings and instrument cases on game days.
The Marching Utes provide incredible support to the University of Utah sports teams-it would be good to have them receive more monetary support and resources.
As a crimson club member certainly they can find a way to help house our marching band & their equipment!?