Denver Coliseum

Denver Coliseum is an indoor arena, owned by the City and County of Denver, operated by its Arts and Venues division and located in Denver, Colorado. The arena holds 10,200 people and was built from 194951. The coliseum is located in Denver's Elyria-Swansea neighborhood. It sits where the Denver Pacific Railway broke ground on its Cheyenne line in 1868.

Denver Coliseum
Location4600 Humboldt Street
Denver, Colorado 80216
Coordinates39.7791279°N 104.9707305°W / 39.7791279; -104.9707305
OwnerCity and County of Denver[1]
OperatorDivision of Arts and Venues[1]
CapacityConcert: 10,500
Basketball: 9,340
Hockey: 8,140[1]
Field size122,400 square feet
Broke groundSeptember 16, 1949[1]
OpenedDecember 1951[1]
Construction cost$3 million[1]
Denver Mavericks (IHL) (1959)
Denver Invaders (WHL) (19631964)
Denver Rockets/Nuggets (ABA) (1967–1975)
Denver Spurs (WHL/CHL) (19681975)
Denver/Colorado Rangers (IHL) (19871989)
Denver Pioneers (NCAA) (19971999)
Colorado Wildcats (PIFL) (1998)
Denver Aviators (NIFL) (2007)
Denver Cutthroats (CHL) (20122014)
Colorado Blizzard (MASL2) (20172018)

Opening on November 8, 1951 with a six-day run of Shipstads & Johnson Ice Follies,[2] today the Denver Coliseum is an integral venue of the National Western Stock Show and hosts a multitude of other events including: commencement ceremonies, rodeos, ice shows, motor shows, circuses, concerts, motivational seminars, dances, exhibits and trade shows. Notables include: CHSAA high school volleyball, spirit and basketball playoffs & championships, Disney on Ice, The Denver March Pow Wow, The Denver Coliseum Mineral, Fossil, Gem, and Jewelry Show, Christian events, cheerleading competitions, roller derby and Bassnectar.

When McNichols Sports Arena (MSA) opened in 1975, the coliseum continued as an alternate venue to the larger arena for events requiring less seating or overall space. This continues today after the opening of Pepsi Center in 1999 and the subsequent demolition of MSA in 2000.


On January 10, 1952 June Haver & Walter O'Keefe hosted the official dedication of the Coliseum on the eve of the first stock show in the arena and over the years the Coliseum hosted many celebrities and artists including: Elvis Presley (April 8, 1956 2 shows, November 17, 1970, April 30, 1973); The Grateful Dead (November 20 & 21, 1973); The Who (December 4&5, 1971); Frank Sinatra (May 1, 1975); The Rolling Stones (November 29, 1965; June 16, 1972); Led Zeppelin (March 25, 1970, June 21, 1972, May 25, 1973); Stevie Wonder (opening for the Rolling Stones on June 16, 1972, November 3, 1974); The Lovin’ Spoonful; The Monkees; Cream; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (November 26, 1969, May 12, 1970); Ike & Tina Turner; The Jackson 5 (August 20, 1971); Black Sabbath (February 27 & October 18, 1971); The Moody Blues; Pink Floyd (April 17, 1975); Neil Diamond (May 8, 1971); Santana; Jethro Tull; Yes; Eagles (August 2, 1972); Bob Dylan; Eric Clapton; Rammstein (May 20, 2012) and many more.

The arena has been home ice to several hockey teams from various leagues including the Denver Cutthroats (201214), the Denver/Colorado Rangers (198789), the Denver Spurs (196875), the Denver Invaders (196364) and the Denver Mavericks (1959). The University of Denver Pioneers college hockey team played many of its home games at the Coliseum during the renovation of the University of Denver Arena in 197273, and when the current Magness Arena was under construction, between 1997 and 1999.

The coliseum was also an annual stop for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the host of WCW's Spring Stampede (1998) and the Colorado Wildcats, of the Professional Indoor Football League.

Incidents of note in the coliseum's history have taken place. Former President Dwight Eisenhower stopped in Denver on his tour of western states in support of Republican candidates on October 8, 1962. In 1976, a planned Marvin Gaye concert was canceled after learning that Gaye was at his home in Los Angeles sleeping, led to rioting at the coliseum, a series of lawsuits for fraud and deceiving ticket buyers, and giving the media a field day as the top story.[3] On April 5, 2005, after a women's boxing fight held at the coliseum, boxer Becky Zerlentes died of her injuries following a third-round knockout loss to Heather Schmitz.[4] Santana played the Denver Coliseum six times, securing the title of House Band.


  1. "The Historic Denver Coliseum Venue Guide" (PDF). Denver Coliseum. 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012.
  2. "Denver Coliseum's glorious history spans music, rodeos, sports and much, much more". The Denver Post. 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  3. "The KDKO Story"
  4. Sink, Mindy (2005-04-06). "Female Boxer Injured in Fight Dies Afterward". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
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