Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Done In By Nature

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
I've detailed my love and nostalgia many times for the old Cincinnati Gardens on this blog, but further up the road in the Dayton, Ohio suburb of Trotwood, stood another old legendary arena, that being the Hara Arena. Now, I was at only one event at the Hara, and it wasn't even in the main arena itself. It was a baseball card show in one of the adjacent ballrooms and I was helping the card shop owner setup.

From 1964-2016, the building hosted major concerts, sports, and pro wrestling among other things. The Rolling Stones played their first US concert there, Wayne Gretzky made his professional hockey debut for the Indianapolis Racers in the building during a pre-season game against the Cincinnati Stingers. It also hosted ECW's "Heatwave" pay-per-view in 1998, which many say is one of the best events in company history. As far as minor league hockey goes, it was the old hockey barn in Dayton for many years and featured teams such as the Dayton Gems, Dayton Bombers, and Dayton Demonz.

I had hoped at some point to be able to go to an event in the building to experience at least once but due to financial issues (tax liens on the property, etc.), the building closed in the summer of 2016 and over the past few years fell into disrepair.

Recently, the building made the news again.

On Monday night, an outbreak of severe tornadoes struck the Dayton area and caused extensive damage in the Dayton suburbs of Trotwood, Beavercreek, and Riverside. Several of these tornadoes were rated as a EF3 by the National Weather Service. One of the buildings that suffered extensive damage was the Hara Arena. The tornado that hit that particular area was rated as an EF4.

Here's what the building looks like now after the tornadoes ripped through ...

And here's a drone video that local TV station WHIO-TV took the day after:

As you can clearly see, the roof has been shredded and there is debris everywhere. The local TV station did an interview with the current owner of the building who stated he was hopeful it could be salvaged but if not, it would have to be demolished. It would be nice if it could be saved unlike the Gardens but time will tell. 


  1. Sad. Amazing how the name and letters survived. I suspect that they will tear it down, unfortunately.

  2. Oh man... that's terrible. I hadn't heard of this arena until today, but after reading about all of the key events that took place here I hope they're able to save it.

  3. Dang, that sucks. My old apartment complex got nailed. Fortunately wasn’t more devastating. Never have been to Hara arena before, but sad to see an iconic landmark damages.

  4. Wow, there's some great history in that arena. Thank you for sharing.