The seats are gone -- removed and sold. The large porcelain CINCINNATI GARDENS letters erected for the 1949 opening have been promised to the American Sign Museum in Camp Washington.
And sometime in the not too distant future the Cincinnati Gardens arena – home of Oscar Robertson's NBA Cincinnati Royals, and the minor league Swords, Cyclones, Mohawks and Mighty Ducks – will be a pile of rubble.
For six decades, the Santangelos have brought us the greatest names in R&B, rock and jazz – the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, the Grateful Dead and ZZ Top.
From the NBA to ice shows; The Beatles to minor league hockey; high school and college basketball to the Cincinnati Rollergirls, no arena has run the gamut of events and entertainers like the Cincinnati Gardens.
The famed local arena that once hosted Xavier basketball games, two semi-professional ice hockey teams, the Beatles and many other superstars of music and sports, and speeches by too many famous people to name, has been sold.
The Cincinnati Gardens will soon be just a memory. The Cincinnati Port Authority has closed a deal for the building that in 1949 was the seventh largest indoor arena in the US. Inside, there is a deafening silence.
It’s almost time for more bouts, pivots, jammers and blockers. The Cincinnati Rollergirls, stars of the flat track roller derby world, kick off their 2013 home season on March 23 at the historic Cincinnati Gardens. The Front Row with Betsy Ross welcomes in a couple of the Rollergirls to preview the upcoming season, talk a bit about the team and the sport, and how their fan base has grown over the years.