61 And Counting… Cincinnati Gardens Celebrates 61st Anniversary

Cincinnati, Ohio – 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 59 years ago this week.

As the Cincinnati Gardens moves closer to its 60th 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 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 Bon Jovi Hank Williams Jr. Neil Young Elvis Presley Metallica Reba McEntire Bob Dylan Madonna Pearl Jam Martina McBride ZZ Top Michael Jackson Tom Petty Alabama Van Halen Sammy Davis Jr Ozzy Osbourne Pink Floyd Tim McGraw Sting Grateful Dead Alan Jackson AC/DC

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 year, 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 second season of action in the grand old building this spring.

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.

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 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 club teams from the University of Cincinnati and Xavier, 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. With an eye to the future, the Cincinnati Gardens proudly celebrates its 59 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