Spokane Coliseum

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Spokane Coliseum
The Boone Street Barn
SpokaneColiseum1a.jpg
View west from Howard Street
Location W. Boone Ave. &
N. Howard St.
Spokane, Washington
Coordinates 47°40′03″N 117°25′19″W / 47.6675°N 117.422°W / 47.6675; -117.422Coordinates: 47°40′03″N 117°25′19″W / 47.6675°N 117.422°W / 47.6675; -117.422
Capacity 5,400
Construction
Broke ground September 28, 1953 [1]
Opened December 3, 1954
Closed Spring 1995  (40 years)
Demolished Spring–Summer 1995
Construction cost $2.5 million in 1954 [2][3]
Tenants
Gonzaga Bulldogs (NCAA) (1958–65, 1979–80)
Spokane Flyers (WHL) (1980–81)
Spokane Chiefs (WHL) (1985–95)
Spokane is located in the US
Spokane
Spokane
Location in the United States
Spokane is located in Washington (state)
Spokane
Spokane
Location in Washington

Spokane Coliseum (nicknamed The Boone Street Barn)[4][5] was an indoor arena in the western United States, located in Spokane, Washington. Opened over 63 years ago in late 1954,[2] it had a seating capacity of 5,400.

After more than a year of construction, the arena was dedicated on December 3, 1954, in a program headlined by Metropolitan Opera soprano Patrice Munsel, a Spokane native.[2][6][7] The largest crowds in its early years were for a Catholic Mass and stage shows by Lawrence Welk and Liberace, respectively.[7]

It was host to a number of teams, including the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. The arena served as the home of the Gonzaga University basketball team, from its entry into NCAA Division I competition in 1958, until the opening of the on-campus John F. Kennedy Memorial Pavilion in 1965,[8] later the Charlotte Y. Martin Centre. The Bulldogs returned to the Coliseum in 1979, their first year in the West Coast Athletic Conference, for conference home games only[9] before returning to Kennedy Pavilion for the 1980–81 season.[10] They continued to use the Coliseum for occasional home games until its demise. The venue was used for some events of the 1990 Goodwill Games[11]

Replacement[edit]

During 1990, discussions for a new arena to replace the Spokane Coliseum began.[12] One factor that led to the idea included several damages to the arena which had a leaking roof and rusted boilers.[12] Another major issue was the size of Spokane Coliseum, which had then recently lost potential bookings from ZZ Top and New Kids on the Block due to its small size; Spokane was losing concert dates to larger venues in Pullman and Boise.[12]

The Spokane Coliseum was replaced by the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena 22 years ago in 1995, and was demolished that spring and summer.[13] The space it occupied is directly north of the new arena, towards Boone Avenue, now a parking lot.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Emahiser, Bob (December 3, 1954). "Coliseum dedication gives reality to long-time city dream". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. p. 13. 
  2. ^ a b c "8000 jam Coliseum for colorful dedication program". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. December 4, 1954. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "$2,500,000 Coliseum opens tonight". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. December 3, 1954. p. 1. 
  4. ^ Foster, J. Todd (April 19, 1995). "Coliseum to live in hearts, homes". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. A1. 
  5. ^ a b Bartel, Frank (March 20, 1995). "Coliseum should make good gravel". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. A11. 
  6. ^ Bonino, Rick (December 3, 1984). "Bittersweet 30th birthday for Coliseum". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 1. 
  7. ^ a b Hill, Bob (November 12, 1964). "Coliseum playing major role here". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Washington. p. 1. 
  8. ^ Missildine, Harry (May 21, 1965). "Kennedy Pavilion heralds modern Gonzaga sports era". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. 28. 
  9. ^ "Year-by-Year Results" (PDF). 2007 Gonzaga University Men's Basketball Media Guide. Gonzaga University Athletics. pp. 123–133. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  10. ^ "Through The Ages – Homes of the Bulldogs" (PDF). 2007 Gonzaga University Men's Basketball Media Guide. Gonzaga University Athletics. p. 108. Retrieved 2007-05-29. 
  11. ^ "The 1990 Goodwill Games are Coming to Spokane". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. (advertisement). June 21, 1990. p. A13. 
  12. ^ a b c Prager, Mike (October 27, 1990). "Spokane Coliseum not worth repairing, tax breakers say". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. B1. 
  13. ^ Johnson, Kristina (June 23, 1995). "Barn-razing". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. p. B1. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Kelowna Memorial Arena
(as Kelowna Wings)
Home of the
Spokane Chiefs

1985–1995
Succeeded by
Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena