Kiel Auditorium

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Richard Kiel Auditorium
Former names Municipal Auditorium (1934–1943)
Location 1401 Clark Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63103
Coordinates 38°37′41″N 90°12′06″W / 38.627972°N 90.201782°W / 38.627972; -90.201782Coordinates: 38°37′41″N 90°12′06″W / 38.627972°N 90.201782°W / 38.627972; -90.201782
Opened April 14, 1934
Closed 1991
Demolished 1992
Construction cost $6 million
($106 million in 2014 dollars[1])
Architect Louis LaBeaume and Eugene S. Klein
Capacity 9,300
Tenants
St. Louis University (NCAA) (1934–1991)
St. Louis Hawks (NBA) (1955–1968)
St. Louis Streak (Women's Professional Basketball League) (1979-1981)
St. Louis Wrestling Club

Kiel Auditorium was an indoor arena, in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. It was the home of the St. Louis University basketball team and hosted the NBA's St. Louis Hawks, from 1955-1968.

The arena, completed in 1934, at a cost of $6 million, seated 9,300. It was originally named the Municipal Auditorium, but was renamed in honor of former St. Louis Mayor Henry Kiel in 1943.[1] A unique feature of the auditorium was that it was split into two; the front of the building was the Kiel Opera House. It was possible to use both sides at once as the stages were back to back. President Harry Truman gave a speech there in which both sides were opened to see his speech.

In 1955, the auditorium was also the venue for the second international conference of Alcoholics Anonymous, which established the service conference structure for the movement.

Kiel Auditorium played host to a variety of concerts and wrestling events, from the 1950s, until its closure in 1991. In 1983, it was the host of the Miss Universe Pageant. From the 1950s until the 1970s, the Kiel Auditorium was behind only Madison Square Garden as North America's most famous wrestling arena, hosting three NWA World Heavyweight Championship title changes from 1959 until 1986. The most notable wrestling event that took place at the Kiel Auditorium was WCW's premier event, Starrcade 1990. The building was demolished in 1992, but not before hosting the Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament the preceding year.

After its demolition, its games and concerts temporarily went to the St. Louis Arena.

The Scottrade Center (originally named "Kiel Center", then "Savvis Center", before the current naming rights were purchased) now stands on the site of the former Kiel Auditorium. The Opera House portion of the building, on the northern part of the property, facing Market Street, was not torn down. It remained vacant for a while, but was renovated and reopened under the name Peabody Opera House in 2011.

The Kiel Auditorium replaced the St. Louis Coliseum as the city's main indoor arena.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Milwaukee Arena
Home of the
St. Louis Hawks

1955 – 1968
Succeeded by
Alexander Memorial Coliseum
Preceded by

Boston Garden
Onondaga County War Memorial Coliseum
Boston Garden
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

1958
1962
1965
Succeeded by

Olympia Stadium
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
Cincinnati Gardens