Cincinnati Gardens

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Cincinnati Gardens
Cincinnati gardens exterior 2004.jpg
Location 2250 Seymour Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45212
Coordinates 39°10′52″N 84°27′19″W / 39.18111°N 84.45528°W / 39.18111; -84.45528Coordinates: 39°10′52″N 84°27′19″W / 39.18111°N 84.45528°W / 39.18111; -84.45528
Owner Gerry Robinson
Operator Cincinnati Gardens
Capacity 10,208
Surface Concrete (ice floor)
Opened February 22, 1949
Construction cost $32 Million
($318 million in 2016 dollars[1])
Cincinnati Rollergirls (WFTDA) (2006–present)
Cincinnati Commandos (CIFL) (2010–2012)
Cincinnati Kings (PASL) (2010-2012)
Cincinnati Thunder (NA3HL) (2015-present)
Cincinnati Mighty Ducks (AHL) (1997–2005)
Cincinnati Mohawks (AHL / IHL) (1949–1958)
Cincinnati Wings (CPHL) (1963–1964)
Cincinnati Swords (AHL) (1971–1974)
Cincinnati Cyclones (ECHL / IHL) (1990–1997)
Xavier Musketeers Ice Hockey Team (2007-2010)
Cincinnati Royals (NBA) (1957–1972)
Xavier Musketeers (NCAA) (occasional 1949–1979, permanent 1983–2000)
Cincinnati Bearcats (NCAA) (1949–1954, 1987–1989)
Cincinnati Slammers (CBA) (1984–1987)
Cincinnati Silverbacks (NPSL) (1995–1998)

Cincinnati Gardens is an indoor arena located in Cincinnati, Ohio that opened in 1949. The 25,000 square foot (2,300 m²) brick and limestone building, whose entrance is decorated with six three-dimensional carved athletic figures. When it opened, its seating capacity of 11,000+ made it the seventh largest indoor arena in the United States.

The Cincinnati Gardens' first event was an exhibition hockey game. It has been the home of six league championship hockey teams, and most recently was the home of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League, but it also has been host to numerous other sporting events, concerts, stage shows, circuses and political rallies. Currently, the Gardens' primary tenant is the Cincinnati Rollergirls of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.

Sporting events[edit]

The interior of the Cincinnati Gardens

Cincinnati Gardens has been known primarily as a venue for hockey, basketball and boxing.


The Gardens' first event was an exhibition hockey game on February 22, 1949, between the Dallas Texans of the United States Hockey League and their parent National Hockey League team, the Montreal Canadiens. Several of the Texans' players would soon seed the first professional hockey team in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Mohawks, who played at the Gardens from 1949 through 1958—three seasons in the AHL and six in the International Hockey League. Three NHL Hall of Famers played for the Mohawks — Harry Howell, Buddy O'Connor and Clint Smith — and from 1952 through 1957, the team won an IHL record five consecutive Turner Cup championships. Cincinnati Gardens was also home to the Cincinnati Mohawks of the Midwest Amateur Hockey League in 1966, 68, 69. Most of the Mohawks games were held in the annex, but some were played in the big building.[citation needed] The Xavier University Ice Hockey Program began using the Cincinnati Gardens as its home facility for the 2007-2008 season. During the summer before the 2009-2010 season the team constructed its own permanent home inside the arena. The Chuck Stout Locker Room now serves as the home of the Xavier Ice Hockey team. Complete with 22 individual stalls, shower facilities, coaches room, classroom, and equipment and workout area the Chuck Stout Locker Room is a great asset to the Xavier Program.

The Cincinnati Swords played in the AHL as an affiliate of the NHL Buffalo Sabres from 1971 through 1974 and won the Calder Cup as AHL champions in 1973.

The Cincinnati Wings played the 1963-64 season at the Gardens, relocating from Indianapolis (where they were known as the Capitals) after their home arena, the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, was heavily damaged in a propane explosion on October 31, 1963 which killed 74 people.

The Cincinnati Cyclones played in the East Coast Hockey League for two seasons and the IHL for five seasons at the Cincinnati Gardens. When the Cyclones moved to U.S. Bank Arena in 1997, the AHL returned to the building for the third time with the creation of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, an affiliate of the NHL Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and Detroit Red Wings, who played in the building until 2005.

The Cincinnati Thunder of the NA3HL (North American 3 Hockey League) moved to the Gardens beginning with the 2015-16 season, making the team the Gardens' newest hockey tenant.[2]

Though having no pro-hockey team, the Gardens still acts as the home rink for several area high school teams.


The Gardens was home to the Cincinnati Royals of the National Basketball Association (now the Sacramento Kings) from 1957 through 1972. Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson played for the Royals from 1960 through 1970. The arena hosted the NBA All-Star Game in January 1966, and Royals' guard Adrian Smith was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

College basketball, including 42 "Crosstown Shootout" games between the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, has been played at the Gardens since its first week in 1949. The arena has served as the home court for both schools at various times, lastly for Xavier from 1983 until their move to the on-campus Cintas Center in 2000.

From 1984 through 1987, the Cincinnati Slammers of the Continental Basketball Association played their home games at the Gardens.

High school basketball has also used the Gardens over the years, both for regular season games - such as contests matching Middletown & Hamilton highs - as well as post-season tournaments including the state tourney in 1953 & 1955.


The Gardens has hosted a number of boxing matches, particularly several featuring prominent local & international fighters. Eventual Heavyweight champion and Hall of Famer Ezzard Charles of Cincinnati defeated Joey Maxim in a heavyweight title contender fight on February 28, 1949, in the arena's first week. Cincinnatian Wallace "Bud" Smith defended his World Lightweight crown there on October 19, 1955. Numerous Golden Gloves competitions have drawn as many as 10,000+ fans, and a "Super Brawl Sunday" event was held in 2002.

On August 30, 2008, Relentless Events packed over 6000 fans into the arena for former heavyweight champion Lamon Brewster's comeback fight against Danny Batchelder. Brewster won by fifth-round knockout. Local favorites Rashad Holloway and Aaron Pryor Jr. also won on the undercard.

Other sports[edit]

Other sports hosted at the Gardens have included:


On August 27, 1964, The Beatles performed at the arena.[3]

On November 27, 1965, the Rolling Stones performed at the arena.

Diana Ross & the Supremes performed at the arena on March 10, 1968.

On October 10, 1970, the Jackson Five performed at the arena.

On November 11, 1971, Elvis Presley performed at the arena.[4]

On May 23, 1986, George Thorogood & The Destroyers performed in the arena. This concert was featured on their Live album.

Bon Jovi performed in the arena on March 18 and 19, 1987.

On November 30, 1991 Neil Young and Crazy Horse performed the "Smell the Horse" Tour. The Live album "WELD" was recorded on this Tour. The warm up Band for the evening was Sonic Youth.


  1. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Beatles Bible » Beatles diary » 1964 » August » 27 » Live: Cincinnati Gardens, Cincinnati Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  4. ^ "Elvis Really Tears 'Em Up". Cincinnati Enquirer. November 12, 1971. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]