SL Co. Mayor Jenny Wilson again tries to reassure Abravanel Hall’s future

Abravanel Hall. File Photo: Salt Lake County Arts and Culture

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 14, 2024 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson is working to reassure patrons of the arts that Abravanel Hall is not threatened by Utah’s coming professional hockey team.

In a press release Tuesday, Wilson said, “I appreciated the extensive amount of input regarding the future of Abravanel Hall as a sports, entertainment, culture and convention district is envisioned in downtown Salt Lake City.

“Salt Lake County is the owner and operator of Abravanel Hall. As Mayor of Salt Lake County, I am working diligently on a re-imagined downtown, and a district design that allows Abravanel Hall to remain in its present form and value the feedback from the community,” Wilson said.

Abravanel Hall has been home to the Utah Symphony since 1979. 

Wilson’s statement comes a week after more than 19,000 people signed a petition asking fans to “Save Abravanel Hall.” The hall is believed at risk with the recent announcement of a National Hockey League team coming to Utah, as the Utah Legislature has authorized Salt Lake City to increase sales tax to help finance a home for the team, and establish a Sports, Entertainment, Culture, and Convention District (SECC) in downtown Salt Lake.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, a major supporter of the sweeping changes being considered downtown, echoed Wilson’s Tuesday statement in a post on X. “Salt Lake City is the cultural core of our state and Abravanel Hall is a critical anchor of this,” Mendenhall wrote. “I am grateful we have partners in Mayor Wilson and SEG who believe we must lift and include our great institutions of arts and culture as we look to revitalize downtown.”

Tuesday’s statements are similar to those made in a May 7 press release issued by Wilson, the Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), and Utah Symphony.

The May 7 release said the downtown revitalization project is “in the earliest stages and no decisions on the future of Abravanel Hall have been made, and the Utah Symphony, Smith Entertainment Group, and the Mayor’s Office are committed to working collaboratively toward the mutual goal of ensuring that Salt Lake City continues to enjoy the highest quality symphony hall that meets the needs of its professional musicians and community.”


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