Mid-Hudson Civic Center
The Mid-Hudson Civic Center is a venue in Poughkeepsie, New York, consisting of Mair Hall (a concert and convention hall) and the McCann Ice Arena (an ice skating venue). It was built in the 1970s as part of the general attempt at rehabilitation of the central district of the City of Poughkeepsie. It is located at 14 Civic Center Plaza, on a segment of what was formerly known as Market Street near the former Main Mall. The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, at 40 Civic Center Plaza, is adjacent on the same block and was originally designed to be constructed concurrently with the civic center and financed by Hilton, but the hotel construction was abandoned after the foundation was laid. Four years after the completion of the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Radisson Hotels bought the hotel property and after a re-design of the original hotel plans, construction of the hotel resumed.
Mid-Hudson Civic Center, a private, not-for-profit community organization dedicated to providing cultural, recreational and educational opportunities to the Hudson Valley is a dual venue comprising Mair Hall and McCann Ice Arena. Mair Hall is a 15,475-square-foot (1,437.7 m2) space with the capacity to host 3,050 seated spectators and large expos and trade shows.
McCann Ice Arena
The McCann Ice Arena serves youth organizations, leagues and individuals for both recreational and competitive figure skating and ice hockey and offers open ice slots, group and private lessons, public skating sessions and private parties. McCann Ice Arena has been the home of the Hudson Valley Bears and the Poughkeepsie Panthers, two professional hockey teams.
Mair Hall opened in the summer of 1976 with a sold out performance by the Bay City Rollers who at the time was enjoying worldwide fame and had the #1 song on US Billboard charts called "Saturday Night."
Between July 1984 and August 1986 the Mid Hudson Civic Center was where the World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment) taped their internationally televised WWF Championship Wrestling. Notable wrestlers who wrestled in the building during this time include then WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, André the Giant, Bret Hart, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, King Kong Bundy, Big John Studd, Ken Patera, Tito Santana, Don Muraco, The Iron Sheik, "Mr Wonderful" Paul Orndorff and Rowdy Roddy Piper (who also hosted his "Piper's Pit" segment on the show). Television commentators for the show at the Civic Center were WWF owner Vince McMahon (at the time McMahon was only known outside of wrestling circles as an announcer) and "Professional wrestlings only living legend" Bruno Sammartino, with Jesse "The Body" Ventura occasionally joining the duo or filling in for Sammartino (Ventura also wrestled on the show occasionally as Randy Savage's tag-team partner, usually taunting Sammartino and challenging him to get in the ring).
The Mid-Hudson Civic Center was also where "Macho Man" Randy Savage first introduced Miss Elizabeth (his real life wife) as his chosen manager on an episode of Championship Wrestling on August 24, 1985 (taped July 30). Heel managers Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Mr. Fuji, "Classy" Freddie Blassie, Luscious Johnny V, and "The Mouth of the South" Jimmy Hart had been "bidding" for his services in the previous months and had gathered in the ring to hear who Savage had chosen.
The Center was also where Heenan Family members Big John Studd and Ken Patera faced André the Giant and S.D. Jones in a tag team match. After knocking Jones out of the ring, Studd and Patera then double teamed André, knocking him unconscious. Bobby Heenan then pulled a pair of scissors from his pocket which Studd used to cut The Giants long hair, with Vince McMahon claiming in commentary that they were raping André of his dignity. While it shocked the audience, in reality André had agreed to the haircut prior to the match.
The only title change at the Civic Center during WWF Championship Wrestling tapings was on June 17, 1985 when The U.S. Express (Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham) defeated The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff, regaining the WWF Tag Team Championship they had lost to the pair at Wrestlemania on March 31, 1985. The Mid Hudson Civic Center has also host a handful of episodes of WWF Monday Night Raw between 1993 and 1995.