Rice- Eccles Stadium has been the home of the University of Utah football program since 1998. The venue opened and closed 2002 Winter Olympics and 2002 Winter Paralympics. There are over 45500 seats available for the game nights and record of sold Utah Utes tickets fell in 2015 when the home team hosted Michigan in front of 47825 pair of eyes.Basketball at University of Utah is played at the Jon M. Huntsman Center, a multi- purpose arena that opened in 1969. The 15000 seat- capacity arena hosted 1979 Final Four featuring the first round of rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
University of Utah established football program in 1892 and basketball one in 1908. The Utes were members of several conferences and currently they are located in South Division of Pac- 12 Conference, NCAA Division I (FBS for football).A red- tailed hawk, named Swoop is the mascot of University of Utah and the college’s colours are red and white. The main rivals of the Utes are Utah State Aggies, BYU Cougars and Colorado Buffaloes.Football program at the University of Utah won 24 conference championship from five different conferences they were members of. The Utes’ all- time record is 652-449-31 and the university has appeared in 20 Bowl games boasting a great all- time record of 15-5 from these games.
University of Utah first Bowl appearance was a shutout win against New Mexico in 1939 at the Sun Bowl. The Utes lost only one bowl game in XXI century, it was at the Las Vegas Bowl in 2010 against Boise State.Dating back to 1999 the Utes are 12-1 in bowl games.The university produced plenty of athletes who joined the NFL teams and enjoyed fulfilling careers including players as Alex Smith, a former first overall draft pick and Steve Smith St, one of the most productive wide receivers of the XXI century.Alex Smith, has played in NFL for 11 seasons now and his career took off after he was traded to the Chiefs from his rookie team, the 49ers in 2013. He’s got one Pro Bowl to his name and he recorded a perfect passing game versus the Raiders in December 2013.
Smith Sr, spent most of his career with the Panthers, until he signed with the Ravens in 2014, after 13 seasons as Carolina’s leading receiver. He’s been voted to five Pro Bowls, he led the NFL in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He left Carolina as their leader in total touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards.Basketball program at University of Utah, delivered one NCAA tournament title (1944) and a runner up appearance (1998) out of 29 NCAA tournaments the Utes went to, to date.
The university was five times conference champions and they also claimed 29 conference regular season titles to date.One of the better known Utes in NBA is the center for the Warriors, Andrew Bogut who won NBA championship with Golden State. He was also the league leading blocker in 2011 as well as he was named to All-NBA Third Team and NBA All- Defensive Second team once in his career.Despite the small media market the Utes find themselves in, the school had been in national spotlight whether by winning championships or by having their former players producing well in the pro leagues.