By Emily Goddard

The Hoberman ArchJune 15 - The Hoberman Arch, the 36-foot tall Medals Plaza centrepiece from the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics, is to be relocated from its home of 11 years outside the Rice-Eccles Stadium at the University of Utah.

Officials say they are being forced to move the iconic 31,000-pound structure, which was used to introduce the day's medal-winning athletes at the Games, because of the future 10,000-seat expansion of the stadium's south end zone bowl.

"The arch is obviously part of our Olympic heritage," said Gordon Wilson, the University of Utah's assistant vice-president of auxiliary services.

"We're looking at what would be a good home for it.

"We want to do the right thing with this."

Finding a new home could prove difficult because of the arch's size and branding restrictions - it cannot be placed near companies that compete with Olympic sponsors, but Colin Hilton, President and chief executive of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, which oversees the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns and other legacies of the 2002 Games, thinks a site in Salt Lake City would be the most favourable location.

The Hoberman Arch was the centerpiece of the Olympic Medals Plaza in downtown Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter OlympicsThe Hoberman Arch was the centrepiece of the Olympic Medals Plaza in downtown Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics

"It did reside in downtown," he said.

"If there's a good home there, that might have a leg up on the others.

"But it's the University's decision.

"They own it."

Although attempts to keep the arch in downtown Salt Lake City after the Games were unsuccessful, Mayor Ralph Becker is said to be interested in taking another look at putting the arch on display downtown.

"We would happily entertain that idea and would love to be part of the discussion as far as a new home for the arch," spokesman Art Raymond said.

He did admit, however, that the city will need more information about the costs associated with maintaining the structure before an agreement could be reached.

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