|Location||4600 Humboldt Street
Denver, Colorado 80216
|Broke ground||September 16, 1949|
|Owner||City and County of Denver|
|Operator||Division of Theatres and Arenas|
|Construction cost||$3 million|
|Field dimensions||122,400 square feet|
Denver Coliseum is an indoor arena, owned by the City and County of Denver, operated by its Theatres and Arenas division and is located in Denver, Colorado. The arena holds 10,200 people and was built in 1951.
A wide variety of events are held throughout the year including: Disney on Ice, RATM, Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, The Denver March Pow Wow, the Denver Coliseum Mineral, Fossil, Gem, and Jewelry Show, Christian events, cheerleading competitions, high school sports playoffs, motivational seminars, Mexican dances, roller derby, music concerts & other miscellaneous events. Beginning in 2012-13 Central Hockey League season the venue will host a new CHL team in Denver. The team name was announced on May 17, 2012 as the Denver Cutthroats.
Opened in 1952, today the Denver Coliseum is home to the National Western Stock Show and hosts a multitude of other events including: rodeos, ice shows, motor shows, circuses, concerts, dances, exhibits and trade shows.
At a cost of $3 million, the Coliseum was built by the City of Denver to allow the expansion of the rapidly growing National Western Stock Show – at the time the largest livestock event in the west. One of Mayor Quigg Newton’s first acts in office was to appoint a committee of citizens to develop detailed plans for the structure. The committee knew that the building would need to serve many other needs to keep it operating year ‘round. They envisioned hockey, basketball, boxing, track meets, conventions, civic meetings, trade shows, dances, ice skating and “spectacular road shows.” Ground was broken on September 16, 1949 on the building that would soon occupy 122,400 square feet.
Huge reinforced concrete arches span the Coliseum at a greatest height of 87 feet 2½ inches. The weight of the concrete roof is 5,400 tons. The roof was installed in six sections, and an article in the Rocky Mountain News detailed how each section was installed “in a little more than 10 hours and was one of the largest single placements of concrete ever made in Denver. Twenty-six trucks were kept busy shuttling between the plant of the Ready-Mixed Concrete Co. and the stadium. The roof form and the framework supporting it contains 235,000 board feet of lumber and is held together with 10,000 special connectors. The one form will be used for all sections. As soon as the concrete poured yesterday sets, the 123 jacks built into the form will be used to draw the form from the roof and the entire structure moved into place for the next section.
The arena is 127’ 2” wide and 233’ 11” long. Installed in the concrete floor is a cooling system that can transform the arena into an ice-rink (86’x218’) in a matter of hours. The rink was quickly put to use as the first show in the Coliseum was “Ice Follies of 1952” in December 1951 – and netted the city the “grand profit of $147.” The Coliseum’s built-in ice making equipment still provides the surface for “Disney on Ice” tours to this day.
The dedication event, “Salute to the Soil” was held on January 10, 1952 and focused on the region’s agricultural and ranching industries. The building opened to rave reviews, and writers extolled its “long, sweeping curves and graceful lines” and “the biggest parking lot Denver visitors have ever seen” – 12½ acres. “Tiny, blonde" June Haver, Twentieth Century-Fox film star, was official hostess for the occasion, greeting her fans with an incandescent glamour that outshone the bright lights focused on the dedication.
June Haver was the first, but over the years the Coliseum hosted many celebrities or soon-to-be celebrities in performance: Elvis Presley (twice), The Who, The Rolling Stones, Lovin’ Spoonful, The Monkees, Cream, CSNY, Ike & Tina Turner, The Moody Blues, Santana, The Eagles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Rammstein and many more. Recently the Coliseum completed an interior make-over to the concourse areas plus the construction of a new box office, new windows, doors and floors. The Historic Denver Coliseum is proud to continue hosting entertainment and special events for the Denver community. There is something for almost everyone at the Historic Denver Coliseum!
The Coliseum also hosts rodeos during the annual National Western Stock Show.
- "The Historic Denver Coliseum Venue Guide". Denver Coliseum. 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012.