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(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Against the backdrop of the Hoberman Arch, acrobats slide down long pieces of material onto the stage at the Olympic Medals Plaza during the 2002 Winter Games.
U. to move Hoberman Arch, transfer ownership to Salt Lake City
First Published Jul 31 2014 07:51 pm • Last Updated Aug 01 2014 05:33 pm

Motorists passing Rice-Eccles Stadium on 500 South may have been alarmed to see part of Utah’s Olympic legacy being disassembled Thursday.

Their eyes weren’t deceiving them: The Hoberman Arch is being moved, again. But indications are that the 36-feet-high, 72-feet-wide web of bent aluminium will be back on display, eventually.

The University of Utah tweeted adieu to the structure Thursday evening:

U. officials stressed to The Tribune that the arch is not being moved in preparation for a stadium expansion. Rather, U. Communications Director Maria O’Mara said, the removal frees up space on the south plaza for game-day activites. The Olympic cauldron will remain undisturbed, and the arch will go to storage for the time being.

O’Mara said the U. will foot the $116,000 bill as the school transfers ownership of the arch to Salt Lake City. The city is not paying any money to obtain the arch from the U.

"They have expressed interest in displaying it downtown," she said.

City spokesman Art Raymond did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday night.

The Tribune reported last June that the university had interest in moving Hoberman Arch to make way for a proposed 11,000-seat expansion outlined in a 2022 Olympics bid proposal.

During the 2002 Olympics, the arch was located on the medals plaza stage at South Temple and 300 West. After the Games, the Salt Lake Organizing Committe donated the arch to the U., and it was moved to the stadium site.

mpiper@sltrib.com

Twitter: @matthew_piper

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