The Cincinnati Gardens
The Cincinnati Gardens opened February 22, 1949; the first event was a hockey exhibition game – the Dallas Texans (whose nucleus would form the new Cincinnati Mohawks of the American Hockey League) versus its parent club, the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens, which featured Hall of Fame right wing Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.
The brick and limestone Gardens – with its six distinctive, three-dimensional carved athletic figures decorating the buildings facing – was built on 22 acres in Cincinnati’s north and was modeled after the popular and historic Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario. At the time of its opening in 1949, Cincinnati Gardens was the seventh largest indoor arena in the U.S. with a seating capacity of 11,000. Stock in the Gardens was widely held throughout the U.S. Cincinnati Gardens Inc.’s first president was Cincinnatian Charles Sawyer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
Cincinnati Gardens was built using some 325,000 man-hours by the Frank Messer & Sons general contractors for a cost of $3 million. It was constructed with no interior pillars or columns obstructing sight lines. Some 2,200 tons of structured and reinforcing steel were used in the project, and it was said that a 10-foot story tall building could fit under the Gardens’ roof. A Cincinnati newspaper reported at the time: “The answer to Cincinnati’s appetite for indoor sports and spectacles, Cincinnati Gardens by its great expanse of uninterrupted space, will awe the thousands of first-nighters.”
Xavier at the Gardens
Xavier began using the Cincinnati Gardens as it's home facility for the 2007-2008 season. During the summer before the 2009-2010 season the team constructed its own permanent home inside the arena. The Chuck Stout Locker Room now serves as the home of the Xavier Ice Hockey team.
Complete with 22 individual stalls, shower facilities, coaches room, classroom, and equipment and workout area the Chuck Stout Locker Room is a great asset to the Xavier Program.