Kiel Auditorium

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Kiel Auditorium
Municipal Auditorium, St. Louis, Mo (63228).jpg
Former namesMunicipal Auditorium (1934–1943)
Location1401 Clark Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63103
Coordinates38°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
OpenedApril 14, 1934
ClosedApril 27, 1991
Construction cost$6 million
ArchitectLouis LaBeaume and Eugene S. Klein
Saint Louis Billikens (NCAA) (1945–1968, 1973–1991)
St. Louis Hawks (NBA) (1955–1968)
St. Louis Streak (WBL) (1979–1981)

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

Municipal Auditorium as it appeared in a 1934 nighttime view

The site was home to Charles H. Turpin's Booker T. Washington Theater where performers included his brother Tom Turpin.[1] The new municipal arena that replaced it was completed in 1934, at a cost of $6 million, seated 9,300 and was built by Fruin-Colnon Construction. It was originally named the Municipal Auditorium, but was renamed in honor of former St. Louis Mayor Henry Kiel in 1943.[2] 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.

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

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 Enterprise Center (originally named "Kiel Center", then "Savvis Center", then "Scottrade 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. It is now known as the Stifel Theatre.


  1. ^ "Education: Turpin's Trust". Time. 26 April 1937.
  2. ^ "The Kiel Auditorium". Retrieved 16 June 2019.

External links[edit]

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

1955 – 1968
Succeeded by
Preceded by Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by