x
Breaking News
More () »

#VintageKSDK: 21 years ago today, the St. Louis Arena came tumbling down

It took just 15 seconds and 133 pounds of TNT to blow up 70 years of St. Louis history

ST. LOUIS — Just say the name, and many St. Louisans will get a misty look in their eyes.

The St. Louis Arena. Home to the St. Louis Blues and other events over the decades.

Twenty-one years ago today, it all came to a dramatic and dusty end.

When it was built in 1929, the St. Louis Arena was the country's second-largest indoor entertainment venue. It hosted livestock shows, conventions, professional wrestling, concerts and roller derby.

Credit: KSDK
The St. Louis Arena, circa 1960s.

It was damaged by a tornado in 1959.

St. Louis' ABA team, the Spirits of St. Louis, played there and of course, the St. Louis Blues.

In 1960, minor league hockey filled the seats. When the NHL expansion brought the Blues in 1967, the Arena got a major renovation.

It was a happening to go there. Men in suits, women in furs. For a hockey game.

Whether you called it the Arena, the Checkerdome, or the Old Barn, it became "the" place to be seen.

The Blues moved out in 1994, and the Arena sat vacant for several years. 

There was public pressure to preserve it or renovate it. But local leaders pressured city government to tear it down. And that's just what happened on Feb. 27, 1999.

Credit: KSDK
St. Louis Arena, February 27, 1999.

The Old Barn came tumbling down. The building that sat on Highway 40 across from Forest Park since 1927 was no more.

Huge crowds gathered to watch it happen at 5:45 in the evening.

It took just 15 seconds and 133 pounds of TNT to blow up 70 years of St. Louis history.

 All that was left were the memories.

More #VintageKSDK

RELATED: #VintageKSDK: News chopper crashes into Mississippi in 1966

RELATED: #VintageKSDK: The time a labor strike shut down the Saint Louis Zoo

RELATED: Vintage KSDK | 21 years ago this week, the pope visited STL

RELATED: Vintage KSDK | Our new series featuring video from our archives