ST. LOUIS — It was part of life in St. Louis for so many of us around here. But 20 years ago Wednesday, one boom brought the city to a halt.
The St. Louis Arena… The Old Barn… The Checkerdome… whatever you called it, it was a building filled with memories for millions of people.
On February 27, 1999 it came crumbling down.
It first opened 70 years earlier. The Arena was the home to conventions, concerts, political rallies, the Spirits of St. Louis ABA team, the NCAA Final Four and, of course, the St. Louis Blues.
But for a lot of people in St. Louis, it was the concerts they fondly remembered. More than 600 people shared their memories of The Arena on the 5 On Your Side Facebook page—many of them mentioned rock shows, like Alice Cooper, Rush, AC/DC, KISS, Led Zeppelin, Queen and Prince.
For others, it was the special events that brought back fond memories.
“Me my brother and mom and dad went to our first WWE (WWF) live event and [loved to] see it when we pass by on the old highway 40. I miss it but great memories,” Matt P. wrote on Facebook.
“My parents took us to the circus there- we were thrilled that the 3 Stooges made an appearance,” Annie K commented.
And of course, there were plenty of memories of watching the Blues take the ice.
“Watching Blues games from the nosebleed seats. It was like you were looking straight down on the ice,” Mike G. recalled.
Tammy S. said she went to one of the last Blues games played at “The Old Barn” and experienced something that probably wouldn’t happen these days.
“I believer there was a major kitchen fire during the game and NO ONE even evacuated (serious hockey fans right there),” she said.
And Jack N. recalled a few times where the bad weather outside didn’t spoil the good times going on inside.
“I remember 3 different times between 1970 and 1980 the weather was so bad outside that after we got into the ARENA, the Blues organization came on the PA system and announced that in their appreciation for our support... All Concessions and Drinks were FREE for the entire game. God Bless The Old Barn And LGB,” he wrote on Facebook.
What are your memories from The Arena? Do you remember watching the demolition? Share your comments here on our Facebook page.