Turning the Big 6-0

Cincinnati Gardens Celebrates 60th Anniversary

It was February 22, 1949 that the first event was staged at the brand new Cincinnati Gardens.  The event was an exhibition hockey game between the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League and its minor league affiliate, the Dallas Texans. That event took place 60 years ago this Sunday.


On this monumental birthday, here is a little reminder of some of the teams, as well as the memorable and sometimes historical events, that have taken place in the venerable building:



Sports Teams

- Home to both the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University basketball

- Home to Mohawks, Swords, Cyclones and Mighty Ducks hockey teams

- Home to Cincinnati Royals of the NBA



- Beatles

- Elvis Presley

- Madonna

- Michael Jackson

- Van Halen

- Pink Floyd

- Grateful Dead

- Bon Jovi

- Metallica

- Pearl Jam

- Tom Petty

- Sammy Davis Jr

- Tim McGraw

- Alan Jackson

- Hank Williams Jr.

- Reba McEntire

- Martina McBride

- Alabama

- Ozzy Osbourne

- Sting


- Neil Young

- Bob Dylan

- ZZ Top


This list of concerts, are just a few of the names and variety of entertainment that have played the Cincinnati Gardens over the years.

In addition to the traditional team sporting events, countless boxing matches with national contenders have been staged at the Gardens including hometown champions such as Ezzard Charles, Wallace "Bud" Smith and Aaron Pryor. The boxing ring also doubled with decades of professional wrestling matches with fabled characters like Gorgeous George, The Sheik, Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin and other classic WWF/WWE wrestlers.

Additional sporting events to play the Gardens include high school basketball, indoor soccer, rodeo and bull riding, monster truck shows, equestrian shows, indoor auto races and roller derby. In the past couple of years, roller derby has made a return to the Gardens with the Cincinnati Rollergirls of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, who will be staging their third season of action in the grand old building, beginning March 21.

Other entertainment and family attractions to Grace the Gardens include the Shrine Circus, Harlem Globetrotters, Disney on Ice, Ice Capades, Stars on Ice, Barney Live, Sesame Street Live, Bob the Builder, American Gladiators and the WWF/WWE. TNA Wrestling, the latest incarnation of the tried and true mocu-sport, will be staging another event on March 14th of this year.

Among some of the most attended events ever at the facility, were political rallies. In 1960, then Vice-President Richard Nixon attracted a crowd of 19,000 in his bid to become President of the United States. Barry Goldwater and former President George W. Bush also made rally stops before capacity, standing room only crowds at the Gardens, in their bid to become commander-in-chief.

Currently, the Cincinnati Gardens continues to house the largest ice-skating and hockey facility in the city. Moeller, St. Xavier and Elder high schools, as well as the club team from Xavier University, stage their games at the Gardens. Family-oriented shows like the Shrine Circus, Monster Trucks and the Winter Jam Christian Music Extravaganza also continue to play before large crowds at Cincinnati Gardens.

On the 50th anniversary, the Cincinnati Gardens began paying homage to its great history, with the opening of the Legends Museum. Through the generous donations of several local collectors, the Gardens has assembled various memorabilia from the thousands of shows and events that have played its hallowed halls. Located on the second floor of Cincinnati Gardens, the Legends Museum is open to the public on weekdays during business hours and during select events.


In addition, the Cincinnati Gardens is always looking to add to the wonderful collection already on display in the Legends Museum. Should anyone like to contribute memorabilia or know of someone who may possess collectables from past events at Cincinnati Gardens, please contact Greg Waddell at 513-351-3999, extension 224.


With an eye to the future, the Cincinnati Gardens proudly celebrates its 60 years of diverse history. The venue looks forward to exploring and providing both the traditional and non-traditional events within the ever-changing landscape of arena sports and entertainment, for years to come.

Copyright 2014 The Cincinnat Gardens