St. Louis Arena

The St. Louis Arena (also known as The Checkerdome from 1977 to 1983, and popularly referred to as "The Barn") was an indoor arena located in St. Louis, Missouri, that stood from 1929 to 1999. The arena was the site of conventions, concerts, political rallies, horse shows, circuses, boxing matches, Roller Derby competitions, the 1973 and 1978 NCAA men's basketball Final Four, the NCAA Men's Midwest Regional finals in 1982, 1984 and 1993, the 1992-94 Missouri Valley Conference men's basketball tournament, and the 1975 NCAA Frozen Four ice hockey finals. The arena was home to various sports teams (see list below).

Closure & Demolition (1994-1999)

As a condition for the private financing of the demolition of city-owned Kiel Auditorium and the construction of privately-owned Kiel Center (now the Scottrade Center) on the same Downtown site, local business group Civic Progress, Inc. insisted that the Dogtown-neighborhood Arena not be allowed to compete with Kiel Center for any events, while the insurance burden for the building was left with the City of St. Louis. With no income allowed for the Arena while insurance expenses continued, the building sat vacant while pressure built on the city government to either make it revenue-producing (essentially impossible under the Civic Progress-imposed non-competitive clause) or raze it. The arena remained vacant for nearly five years.

Public opinion was overwhelmingly in favor of saving "the Old Barn" as it was affectionately nicknamed. When local artist Bob Cassilly (founder of the private, non-profit City Museum) approached the city government with a $200,000 downpayment toward purchasing the building, Civic Progress pressured the city government to hurriedly demolish it, which they did, over general public objection, through a controlled implosion on February 27, 1999.


Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 9 media and uploaded a media file
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  • S Craig Hufford
    S Craig Hufford commented
    This building, as significant a part of the Saint Louis landscape it was, was demolished in 1990's.
    about 5 years ago via Mobile
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    renner.david.b@gmail.com updated
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