MUSIC - He can't love you by the Michael Stanley band
Richfield Coliseum - Opened in 1974, closed in 1994 and demolished in 1999. Location - 2923 Streetsboro Road Richfield, Ohio. The old arena site has been turned back into woodlands.
Quicken Loans Arena - Opened in 1994 and is still in use. Known as Gund Arena 1994 - 2005, Quicken Loan Arena 2005 - present. Location - 1 Center Court Cleveland, Ohio. Literally just north of Progressive Field. You can see the arena from the ballpark interior.
Cleveland Arena - Opened in 1937, closed in 1974 and demolished in 1977. Location - 3717 Euclid Ave. Cleveland, Ohio. Site is now the Cleveland chapter of the American Red Cross.
Richfield coliseum was built in the burbs, literally in the middle of nowhere. It was near the confluence of the Ohio Turnpike and Interstates 77 and 271. The coliseum was constructed about 20 miles south of Cleveland in the small rural township of Richfield Ohio. If you want to try and find it, the address was 2923 Streetsboro Road. Harsh winter snows, as well as a two lane road in and out of the Coliseum made travel to games awful. When it opened in 1974, it was state of the art, but quickly became antiquated. The luxury boxes were far away from the court / ice. The main tenant was the Cleveland Cavs of the NBA. After playing their first five years in the dank Cleveland arena, the move to the coliseum was well received. The Cavs became a good draw with an exciting brand of basketball. Unfortunately, they could never make the NBA finals.
The other 3 major tenants were the Cleveland Crusaders of the old WHA. The Crusaders played in the coliseum from 1974 thru the 1976 season. Like the Cavs, the Crusaders played their first two seasons in the old arena in downtown Cleveland. After the 1976 season, the NHL relocated the California Golden Seals from Oakland to Cleveland. Meanwhile the Crusaiders picked up and moved to Minnesota to become the second incarnation of the WHA Fighting Saints. The newly transplanted Seals changed their name to the Cleveland Barons, and lasted three seasons. After the 1979 season, the financially troubled Barons merged with another team in money trouble, the Minnesota North Stars. The Barons players moved to the upper Midwest and thus major league hockey ended in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Force of the MISL had the second longest tenure in the arena. They lasted from 1978 thru 1992, when the MISL folded. Hockey returned to the arena for two years in the form of the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL. The Lumberjacks played at the Coliseum from 1992 till the building closed in 1994. The Jacks moved with the Cavs to the new downtown Gund arena and lasted until the IHL folded after the 2001 season.
The final event in the old building (it wasn't OLD at all) was a Bon Jovi concert. In 1981 the NBA held its all star game in Richfield. Most major concert acts played here also. Alas, it was too far from downtown Cleveland to be a viable arena. After the Bon Jovi concert, the building was sealed up, although I did get in before it was sealed! Richfield Coliseum lay abandoned for 5 years before it was torn down. The site was left to return to woodland as part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. No marker is anywhere to be found to let people know what was once here.
After playing for 20 years in the boonies of Richfield, the Cavs moved uptown to the brand new Gund arena in 1994. Located in the Gateway section of Cleveland, the Gund was built literally in back of left field of Jacobs Field. The arena was named for Gordon Gund, the former owner of the Cavs. The arena has all the things a team could want. Plus it was close to nightlife after the games. The flats are just to the west of the arena. Alice Cooper has his Cooperstown restaurant 2 blocks to the east of the arena on E 9th Street.
Last but not least was the first major arena in Cleveland. Cleveland arena was located at 3717 Euclid Avenue, and seated about 11,000 people. Cleveland arena was built and privately financed by local businessman Albert C. Sutphin during the height of the Great Depression in 1937. The major tenant was his AHL hockey team, the original Cleveland Barons. In 1970, the NBA expansion Cleveland Cavaliers called the arena home for 5 years. Also, as mentioned above, the WHA Cleveland Crusaders played at the arena.
The arena was the site of what was considered the first ever rock and roll concert. The Moondog Coronation Ball was held on March 21, 1952, and was organized by legendary DJ Alan Freed along with WJW radio. It was a disaster as the concert was shut down by the fire authorities due to overcrowding after the first song. The fire department estimated that 20,000 individuals were either in the arena or trying to enter it, when the capacity was roughly half that.
When it opened in 1937, the arena was a palace, but when it closed in 1974 it had become dilapidated and hardly had any parking. The neighborhood was also in decline. Cleveland arena stood for 3 more years, closed and unused. Finally in 1977, the arena was finally torn down. Like Richfield coliseum, no marker is present to let people know what once stood at 3717 Euclid Avenue.
Richfield coliseum on a sunny May day. 5/87
Map showing where the Richfield Coliseum was.
The Richfield Coliseum has been demolished and the area has been returned to nature. No sign exists that an arena was ever here except for the faint outline of an entrance road.
Richfield coliseum from the air. The arena has already been closed, and is slowly being demolished.
Looking at the entrance from Streetsboro Road. 5/87
The arena under construction 1973.
A place in Richfield coliseum the fans never got to see. The Cavs practice court in the North end of the coliseum. I took this just after the arena closed for good. 10/94
Inside the Cavs old locker room. You see the orange locker chairs. Well, one "accidentally" made it into my car and is now in my office. Along with a Cavs practice jersey, and an official Cavs basketball. 10/94
Twenty years of memories. The coliseum is now closed forever. 10/94
Welcome no more.... the Coliseum awaits the wrecking ball. 9/95
The demolition is about to begin.
Demolition has started on the old coliseum. Photo from internet, date unknown.
Demolition has begun, the arena is being stripped section by section.
The interior is pretty much gone by now.
Hard to believe the Cavs played here at one time.
The final knockdown is coming.
Twenty years of memories are gone.
A skeleton of what was once a grand arena.
The last pieces of the arena are coming down.
The site one year after demolition.
The site of the coliseum in Richfield today. You would never know there was an arena here. 7/03
The coliseum site from the air, after demolition. Soon trees and plants will inhabit the site. You can see I-271, the main interstate to the arena, to the right of the picture. Photo from internet, date unknown.
The Coliseum in Richfield 1974-1994. Rest in peace.
The new home of the Cavs, Gund arena from the corner of Huron and Ontario. Gund is literally right in back of Progressive Field, home of the Indians. 9/95
Map showing the arena and Progressive Field.
Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland.
Now known as the Quicken loan arena.
Site of the former Cleveland arena, 10 years after demolition. It is a parking lot in 1987. 5/87
The old Cleveland arena at 3700 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland Ohio.
Map showing the Cleveland Arena site.
3717 Euclid Ave. was the address of the old Cleveland Arena. The site is now the American Red Cross.
RARE interior shot of the old Cleveland arena.
Elvis in the locker room at the Cleveland Arena.
The end of the line for the arena, as an auction is about to take place.
The Cleveland Barons logo above the old arena.
Damage to the arena from the Moondoggers ball.
A truly rare interior shot of the old arena. Thanks to Mike for sending it to me.
Another rare interior shot of the old Cleveland arena.
Another shot of the arena site in 1987. 5/87
A street view of the old arena from Euclid Ave. This building was next to the western part of the arena. 5/87
The Cleveland arena site today. The old arena site has been turned into the Cleveland chapter of the Red Cross. 9/91