Pete Robinson, president of the Cincinnati Gardens explains, “Our hope would be to sell, and see the historic venue move forward in its current state: a sports and entertainment venue.” Robinson continues, “However, we are prepared to explore other opportunities.”


Kenko Corporation, founded by local businessman Gerry Robinson, acquired the Cincinnati Gardens in 1979. At that time, the facility was vacant with an uncertain future. During the 35-year, Kenko Corporation era, the Gardens has been home to many tenants, most notably, Xavier University basketball from 1983-2000. The University of Cincinnati basketball also called the Gardens home from 1987-1989, prior to the completion of their current facility. Professional ice hockey also returned to Cincinnati after an absence of several years, in the form of the Cincinnati Cyclones. The Gardens and ‘Clones enjoyed sell-out crowds in the early seasons. After the Cyclones departed in 1997, the AHL Cincinnati Mighty Ducks called the Gardens home, until 2005. Probably, the most notable and longest running event at the Cincinnati Gardens is the Shrine Circus. Likely the highest profile event staged during this era, a campaign re-election stop by President George W. Bush on May 4, 2004.

Ice hockey continues to be a constant at the Gardens. Presently, the Gardens is home to college, high school and amateur levels of hockey; housing both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University club teams, along with Moeller, St. Xavier, Elder and LaSalle high schools as well as the Cincinnati Swords (formally CAHA) youth hockey programs. Other ice skating activities include broom ball and figure skating.

While the process of a potential sale is explored, Pete Robinson says, “The historic Cincinnati Gardens will continue business as usual, preparing for the 65th season of operation.” In addition to the local, amateur hockey, the Gardens is planning a diversified array of events, including, but not limited to, various family shows, the 93rd annual Shrine Circus, concerts and the 8th season of the Cincinnati Rollergirls Roller Derby in the spring of 2014.

Copyright 2014 The Cincinnat Gardens