From 1996 to 2005, it was home to the New Mexico Scorpions ice hockey team (since relocated to the new Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, New Mexico). It was most recently home to the Albuquerque Thunderbirds of the NBA Development League, until their move to the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho in 2010. Tingley Coliseum contains 9,286 permanent seats.
In 1916, the New Mexico State Fair was not held due to financial difficulties and the lack of a suitable location. Many held out hope, but the State Fair was canceled every year for over two decades.
It was the end of the State Fair until, in 1937, a group of New Mexico businessmen led by Governor Clyde Tingley convinced President Franklin Roosevelt to grant Works Progress Administration (WPA) funds for construction of fairground buildings in the middle of Albuquerque, of which Tingley Coliseum would be the center.
Over the next several years, more than $500,000 in WPA funds and more than a million adobe bricks were used for the construction of buildings. It took much longer than expected, finishing in 1957, seventeen years after construction began. Though the Coliseum took nearly two decades to complete, the rest of the fairgrounds did not take nearly as long, which enabled the State Fair to reopen in 1938.
Tingley Coliseum is used for a myriad of civic gatherings, beyond the State Fair, including concerts, sporting events, and ice shows.
Entertainers who have appeared at Tingley include WWE, Wham!, UFC, The Kinks, Mötley Crüe, Ronnie James Dio, Quiet Riot, Dokken, Janet Jackson, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, AC/DC, Metallica, KISS, Bob Dylan, Gloria Estefan, Jay-Z, Van Halen, Tool, Rush, Aerosmith, James Brown, Elton John, Cher, Ozzy Osbourne, Fleetwood Mac, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, No Doubt, Bon Jovi, The Beegees, The Jackson 5, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Chris Brown, Earth, Wind and Fire, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eric Church, Olivia Newton John and Elvis Presley among others.
It also hosted the 1987 Miss USA pageant.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr fought the second fight of his undefeated career at the coliseum.
The PBR held one of their signature Built Ford Tough Series (formerly Bud Light Cup) events, the Ty Murray Invitational, annually, from 1998 to 2008. As of 2009, the event was moved to The Pit, on the University of New Mexico campus.
- Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. xiii. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
- Scott, Jon C. (2006). Hockey Night in Dixie: Minor Pro Hockey in the American South. Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. pp. xiii. ISBN 1-894974-21-2.
- Christ, Bob (March 3, 2015). "Gladiators will compete in Champions League". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, NM. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
- Christ, Bob (March 26, 2015). "Tingley getting ready for Gladiators' home debut". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque, NM. Retrieved March 26, 2015.