Former U2 stage to be centerpiece of Utah aquarium expansion
SALT LAKE CITY — It toured the world for two years with rock behemoths U2, towering above the band through 30 countries and before a combined audience of 7.2 million people. But soon, the dome-shaped metal stage structure known as “the Claw,” which stands as tall as Niagara Falls, will have a new home outside a Utah aquarium, where the sounds of blaring guitars and drums will be replaced by screeches and giggles from children eager to see sharks and stingrays. Instead of rock icons, the Claw will loom over interactive science exhibits at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in suburban Salt Lake City, which opened in 2014 and hosts 625 different species of animals. The futuristic-looking, four-legged structure is 165 feet (50 meters) tall and weighs 190 tons (172 metric tons). It will be the centerpiece of a planned expansion dubbed the Science Learning Campus.
“In its new life, it can still function as a stage, but that’s not really what it’s there for,” said Brent Andersen, the Draper aquarium’s founder and CEO. “It’s to help get people into that state of mind and that sense of curiosity and wonder, and help us shine a light on our mission on educating people about Earth’s diverse ecosystems.”