25 Years at The Gallivan Center: Yours to Celebrate

A History of the Gallivan Center

The John W. Gallivan Utah Center (Gallivan Center) celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2018. That’s 25 years of free and inexpensive community-friendly events to include weekly jazz concerts, summer outdoor big band dances, Food Truck Thursdays, Salt City Sounds concert series, summer Lunch Bunch concert series, outdoor winter ice rink, skating demonstrations and events, Armed Forces Day, Weekday Workouts, wine tasting classes and more! The Gallivan Center has been a fun place to gather in the heart of Salt Lake City for 25 years and has grown and developed over the years to accommodate the city’s and community’s growth as well.  The history of the Gallivan Center illustrates this.

In 1993, The Redevelopment Agency (RDA) constructed the first phase of the Gallivan Center on an assemblage of land the Agency acquired on Block 57, located between Main Street and State Street, and 200 South and Broadway. The Gallivan Center is a gathering place for Salt Lake residents and visitors and is considered to be one of the City’s finest amenities. It houses a large grassy plaza and ice skating rink with a variety of amenities. It holds free and paid concerts and events for the public during the spring and summer months, as well as ice skating in the winter season that starts each November. Weddings, receptions and private parties are held year-round at the Gallivan’s different facilities. Proceeds generated by private events are used to fund operations, and free public events. 

Big Band Dance Night at The Gallivan

The first phase of the Gallivan Center, built in 1993, incorporated an amphitheater, stage building, ice skating rink, landscaping, and public art. The improvements were built on top of a three-story parking garage. An additional phase that included development of a Marriot Hotel on State Street, and creation of Gallivan Avenue was completed in 1998.

Over the proceeding decade, the popularity of the Gallivan Center grew beyond the RDA’s expectations, and was hosting numerous events, some with over 10,000 people in attendance. Due to an increase in demand for public events and need for infrastructure repair, the RDA began budgeting funds for a renovation project. Once the RDA gathered adequate funds to begin the design and construction of the project, it held a series of public input sessions for the design. The design was finalized in fall 2009. Construction of the improvements commenced in March 2010 and was substantially complete in September 2011. 

Gallivan HallThe new building, Gallivan Hall, located along 200 South, incorporates the skate rental services previously provided in a pre-existing smaller building. The building also houses a concessions area with a beer tap, 45 public restrooms, and equipment room on the first floor. The second floor features a large banquet hall with a seating capacity of up to 255 people, and a 360-degree 4,264 square foot open space deck on the second floor. The new building also contains two elevators, one servicing the first and second floor of the building, the other servicing the below-grade parking structure into the first level of the building. The new building contains state-of-the-art with programmable features for the building, and DMX-controlled custom lighting for the ice rink. 

Ice Skating Rink at The Gallivan Center

The ice skating rink was relocated in a north/south configuration just west of the Marriott Hotel. It is 142 feet by 61 feet, approximately 40% larger than the old rink. The current ice rink has been built to grade to provide unobstructed hardscape during the summer months. The signature feature of the ice skating rink is a custom designed shade structure that provides a cool cover during the spring and summer, and lighting and sound system for its use as an ice skating rink in the winter. 

The future of the Gallivan Center is exciting and we can’t wait to have you join us for the next 25 years!