Oncenter War Memorial Arena

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Oncenter War Memorial Arena
Onondaga County War Memorial side.jpg
Former names Onondaga County War Memorial
Location 800 South State Street
Syracuse, NY, 13202
United States
Coordinates 43°2′41″N 76°8′54″W / 43.04472°N 76.14833°W / 43.04472; -76.14833Coordinates: 43°2′41″N 76°8′54″W / 43.04472°N 76.14833°W / 43.04472; -76.14833
Owner Onondaga County
Operator Onondaga County
Capacity 8,000 (floor events)
6,159 (hockey)[1]
Surface Multi-surface
Broke ground October 22, 1949[2]
Opened September 12, 1951[5]
Renovated 1994
Construction cost $3,719,000[3]
($33.8 million in 2015 dollars[4])
Architect Edgarton & Edgarton[2]
Structural engineer Ammann & Whitney[2]
General contractor W. E. O'Neil Construction Co.[2]
Syracuse Warriors (AHL) (1951–1954)
Syracuse Nationals (NBA) (1951–1963)
Syracuse Eagles (AHL) (1974–1975)
Syracuse Blazers (NAHL) (1967–1976)
Syracuse Firebirds (AHL) (1979–1980)
Syracuse Smash (NLL) (1997–2000)
Syracuse Soldiers (AIFL) (2006)
Syracuse Raging Bullz (ABA) (2007)
Syracuse Crunch (AHL) (1994–present)
Syracuse Silver Knights
(MISL/MASL) (2011–present)

The War Memorial at Oncenter (originally known as Onondaga County War Memorial) is a multi-purpose arena located in Syracuse, New York. It is part of the Oncenter Complex. Designed by Edgarton and Edgarton and built from 1949 through 1951, the structure is significant as an example of a World War I, World War II and Aroostook War commemorative[6] and as "an early and sophisticated example of single-span thin-shell concrete roof construction". It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.


The War Memorial is home to the Syracuse Crunch ice hockey team and the Major Arena Soccer League team the Syracuse Silver Knights.

Previous teams to call the War Memorial home included the NBA's Syracuse Nationals, the NLL's Syracuse Smash and several now-defunct American Hockey League teams. The Nationals defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in a deciding seventh game at home to win the 1954-1955 NBA Championship. The War Memorial also hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1961 and the NCAA Frozen Four in 1967 and 1971.

The 1977 film Slap Shot included the War Memorial among the various arenas used as shooting locations for in-game action.[7]

War Memorial at OnCenter (2006)

Notable events[edit]

The Onondaga County War Memorial was home to the annual NYSPHSAA wrestling tournament in 1968, from 1970 to 1972, and then for 29-straight years, 1974-2003.[8] The championship event has since been hosted by various venues around the state.

Professional wrestling has also experienced its share of history at the War Memorial. Shortly after completion of filming of the World Championship Wrestling-produced film Ready to Rumble, actor David Arquette won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship title on April 26, 2000 in a taping of the company's weekly Thunder broadcast, which is often cited as being the first legitimate sign of the demise of WCW. It also hosted the first WWF In Your House pay-per-view in 1995. In April 1998 the Oncenter hosted WWF Monday Night Raw. The Oncenter is occasionally host to WWE house shows.

In 1937, the Syracuse Stars hoisted the first ever AHL Calder Cup. 76 years later, in 2013, the Syracuse Crunch held their first Calder Cup finals games in their 19th year in Syracuse. The Crunch fell 4-2 to the Grand Rapids Griffins in 6 games.

It is also a prominent concert venue in the region, which includes various KISS, Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead and Aerosmith shows among numerous others over the years.

On top of the arena's stage are the words, "In memory of our service veterans."


  1. ^ "AHLSet to Kick-Off 75th Anniversary Season". American Hockey League. October 8, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Memorial Opening to Make History" (PDF). The Post-Standard (Syracuse). September 12, 1951. Retrieved February 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cities to Vote on Bonds Issues over Billion". Chicago Tribune. November 5, 1951. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  4. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  5. ^ "Around...Our Town And Country". Warsaw Times-Union. October 11, 1951. Retrieved September 22, 2011. 
  6. ^ LaFrank, Kathleen (October 1988). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Onondaga County War Memorial". State of New York. Retrieved May 2, 2009. and Accompanying 21 photos, exterior and interior, from construction through 1988'
  7. ^ "Remembering a Legend". The Post-Standard (Syracuse). September 28, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ http://www.nysphsaawrestling.com/history.html

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
State Fair Coliseum
Home of the
Syracuse Nationals

Succeeded by
Convention Hall &
Philadelphia Arena
Preceded by
Convention Hall
Host of the
NBA All-Star Game

Succeeded by
Kiel Auditorium
Preceded by
Williams Arena
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Host of the
Frozen Four

Succeeded by
Duluth Arena
Duluth, Minnesota
Preceded by
Olympic Center
Lake Placid, New York
Host of the
Frozen Four

Succeeded by
Boston Garden
Boston, Massachusetts