Photo of Richfield Coliseum from the parking lot.

Before Lebron James and Quicken Loans Arena, the Cleveland Cavaliers called the old Richfield Coliseum home. Richfield Coliseum had a lot of history for an arena located 40 minutes from downtown Cleveland and nicknamed "The Palace on the Prairie". Perhaps the most notable event to take place there was the boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner; a fight that brought the "Rocky" Series to life.

Every major musical act between 1974 and 1994 made stops at Richfield Coliseum. It was one of the earliest NBA arenas that featured luxury suites and was one of the larger arenas in the United States at the time with a capacity of 20,000. The Coliseum was also home to the Cleveland Barons of the NHL from 1976-1978. Many Cleveland sports fans still insist that Cleveland could sustain an NHL team today if they shared Quicken Loans Arena with the Cavaliers. The likelihood of that happening, however, died when Columbus (Ohio) was awarded the Blue Jackets. 

Like the Palace of Auburn Hills, former home of the Detroit Pistons, both arenas were massive and located in rural settings. Richfield Coliseum's poor proximity to downtown Cleveland had a poor impact on attendance for Cleveland Cavaliers home games. Ownership thought a centralized location between the cities of Akron and Cleveland was ideal for area fans. Like so many other stadiums and arenas built in the last 15 or so years, Cleveland Cavaliers ownership later sought the construction of a new venue with more luxury and club seating. Richfield Coliseum stood vacant for five years before finally meeting it's demise in 1999 after the Cavaliers bolted for downtown Cleveland.

The former address of Richfield Coliseum was 2923 Streetsboro Road in Richfield, Ohio. The Cuyahoga Valley National Park now owns the site and there are no remnants of the arena since it's demolition. If you're a Cleveland sports fan old enough to have attended a game there, you may be interested in driving out there and taking that trip down memory lane. 

 

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