Utah State Fairpark may get $17 million arena

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SALT LAKE CITY -- State lawmakers have voted to recommend funding a $17 million arena to be built on the Utah State Fairpark grounds.

At a hearing Wednesday, the Utah State Legislature's Natural Resources recommended funding the construction of the 10,000 seat arena, which would be used for rodeos, concerts and other events. The arena is getting an immediate infusion of cash: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints agreed to kick in $3 million; taxpayers would fund about $10 million. Other money would come from donors.

From a presentation to the Utah State Legislature's Natural Resources Interim Committee on a proposed fairpark arena.

From a presentation to the Utah State Legislature's Natural Resources Interim Committee on a proposed fairpark arena.

Supporters of the arena said it could be used to lure some big events, including the Days of '47 rodeo, which is expected to relocate to the Fairpark. Rep. Sandra Hollins, whose district includes the Fairpark, said it will breathe new life into the west side.

"It's a jewel. Not only for our community, for my community, for the state. This is going to help the state Fairpark to be self-sustaining to be able to keep the fair in Salt Lake City and on the west side," Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, said.

Lawmakers could fund the Fairpark arena if it meets in special session this summer, or potentially during the next legislative session.