Oncenter War Memorial Arena
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|Former names||Onondaga County War Memorial|
|Location||800 South State Street
Syracuse, New York, 13202
|Capacity||8,000 (floor events)
|Broke ground||October 22, 1949|
|Opened||September 12, 1951|
($34.3 million in 2016 dollars)
|Architect||Edgarton & Edgarton|
|Structural engineer||Ammann & Whitney|
|General contractor||W. E. O'Neil Construction Co.|
|Syracuse Warriors (AHL) (1951–1954)
Syracuse Nationals (NBA) (1951–1963)
Syracuse Eagles (AHL) (1974–1975)
Syracuse Blazers (EHL/NAHL) (1967–1977)
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 (MASL) (2011–present)
The War Memorial Arena (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 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.
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 1954–55 NBA Championship. The War Memorial also hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1961 and the NCAA Frozen Four in 1967 and 1971.
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. 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 2015, the War Memorial hosted various games of the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship from September 18–26
It is also a prominent concert venue in the region, which includes various KISS, Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead, Phish and Aerosmith shows among numerous others over the years. Elvis Presley also performed at the venue, July 25 and 26, 1976. An audience recording featuring both shows was released in 2015 under the title Onondaga Nights.
The Oncenter War Memorial Arena was the first professional hockey arena to install LED lighting in 2012, provided by Ephesus Lighting.
On top of the arena's stage are the words, "In memory of our service veterans."
- "AHLSet to Kick-Off 75th Anniversary Season". American Hockey League. October 8, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- "Memorial Opening to Make History" (PDF). The Post-Standard. Syracuse. September 12, 1951. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- "Cities to Vote on Bonds Issues over Billion". Chicago Tribune. November 5, 1951. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
- "Around...Our Town And Country". Warsaw Times-Union. October 11, 1951. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
- 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'
- "Remembering a Legend". The Post-Standard. Syracuse. September 28, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2014.
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