Cleveland Cavaliers

Remembering Cleveland Stadium, Richfield Coliseum and other old arenas as The Q upgrades

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Quicken Loans Arena, home to the Cleveland Cavaliers, is about to undergo a $140 million renovation designed to extend the life of the 22-year-old stadium.

The project, announced last week, will include a new glass-paneled addition and provide The Q with more space for dining, bars and public gatherings. The Cavs and taxpayers will split the costs without any increase in taxes.

As The Q invests in the future, check out these other Cleveland sports arenas from the past: Richfield Coliseum, Cleveland Stadium, League Park and the Cleveland Arena.

League Park

6601 Lexington Ave. Cleveland

1891-present

Capacity: 9,000 originally; 21,000 after 1910 upgrade

Cy Young pitched the opening game at the stadium in Cleveland’s historic Hough neighborhood. Baseball pioneers Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Addie Joss, Tris Speaker, Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg and Bob Fell all played at League Park.

The city of Cleveland spent $6.3 million to refurbish the park in 2014. The original ticket booth is still standing, and home plate is in the same spot as it was when the Indians won the World Series there in 1920.

Cleveland Arena

3717 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

1937-1977

Capacity: About 11,000

Built by Al Sutphin for his Cleveland Barons hockey team. The Cavs played there in the early 1970s. The arena hosted boxing, wrestling and racing events, circuses and rodeos.

Richfield Coliseum

2923 Streetsboro Road, Richfield

1974-1999

Capacity: About 20,000

Known as the “palace on the prairie,” the coliseum was part of Cavs and Indians owner Nick Mileti’s grandiose plan to lead the way for what he believed was the imminent merging of the Cleveland and Akron areas into one media market.

The Coliseum hosted dozens of concerts: Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, Kiss, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, The Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, The Police, U2, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. Frank Sinatra performed on the opening night. 

The Cavs, the Cleveland Barons and Cleveland Lumberjacks hockey teams, the Cleveland Force and Cleveland Crunch soccer teams, and the Cleveland Thunderbolts, an indoor football team, all played at Richfield Coliseum.

The Coliseum also was the site of the 1975 world boxing championship between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner.

Cleveland Stadium

1085 W. 3rd St., Cleveland

1931-1996

Capacity: About 80,000

Cleveland voters approved a $2.5 million bond, the equivalent to $39.7 million today, to help build the stadium, which had the world’s largest outdoor seating capacity when it opened in 1931.

The Indians split games between the municipal stadium and League Park until 1947, when the team moved downtown. The Browns began playing there in 1946.

The lakefront stadium also hosted dozens of rock concerts and the annual World Series of Rock featuring a multi-act lineup including REO Speedwagon, Lynrd Skynrd, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Beach Boys and Aerosmith. (Relive the 1975 World Series of Rock in the video below)

When the Browns left for Baltimore in 1995, team owner Art Modell cited the stadium’s poor condition. The Indians moved to Jacobs Field in 1994, and Cleveland Stadium was demolished in 1996.

Rubble from the old stadium — 5,000 tons of it — now sits on the bottom of Lake Erie as part of reefs off the coasts of Edgewater and Gordon Parks.

Recommended for you

Follow us