In June of 2009, Brent Andersen – the founder and CEO of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Salt Lake City – headed over to Barcelona, Spain to see U2 kick off their 360° world tour. Long before he even got to his seat at Camp Nou stadium, he caught glimpse of the Claw, the single largest stage ever constructed. “I didn’t even want to walk into the stadium,” says Andersen. “I was kind of holding up the line because I just wanted to look at it and take it in. I didn’t really view it as just simply a functional piece of architecture. For me, it was a dynamic sculpture. It was a work of art.”
When the aquarium acquired nine new acres of nearby land for an expansion, Andersen’s mind went back to the Claw and an article he read about how the group was selling it. Boston real estate firm Panther Managementeven launched a website to showcase how it could be used as a permanent concert stage, an exhibition hall, a theme park, a civic plaza or even a biodome. Andersen reached out and struck a deal to acquire the one used on the North American tour. (Another claw was used for the European dates and a third one appears to have been disassembled.) If all goes according to plan, it will be fully in place by June of 2019.
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