2923 Streetsboro Road
Richfield, OH 44286
Cleveland Barons (NHL) 1976-1978
Cleveland Crusaders (WHA) 1974-1976
Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) 1974-1994
Cleveland Force (MISL) 1978-1992
Ballparks Virtual Mall
Other Resources Amazon.COM Stadium Books
In 1973, the front of the Cleveland Cavaliers Program Guide Proclaimed "Fans next season will watch the Cavaliers and Crusaders in style. The Coliseum will be ready for the 1974-75 season and what a setting for NBA and WHA action.
The Coliseum stands in the center of Northeastern Ohio's population. Over 5,000,000 people live less than an hour's drive from the site. The building is situated on a parcel of land which exceeds 100 acres in size. Approximately 8 acres will be required for the structure . . . the remaining acreage for landscaping and parking completely surrounds the facility."
The Cleveland Barons were Cleveland's SECOND attempt at major league hockey. In the 1970's, the NHL and WHA were in constant combat. Player raids were forcing some teams out of business due to a lack of funds. The California Golden Seals, who played in Oakland, were one of these. The team had been struggling since it entered the NHL in 1967-68, and after the 1975-76 season, the then-owners, the Gund brothers, decided to move it to Cleveland, where the WHA's Cleveland Crusaders played at the Richfield Coliseum. The Seals, who were renamed the Barons, after Cleveland's old AHL team, forced the Crusaders out and took up residence. However, the Barons soon found out why the Crusaders had been struggling. Richfield Coliseum was located in the far southern suburbs, too far from both Cleveland or Akron to draw fans consistently. The Barons' atrocious play didn't help the situation. Outside of strong goaltender Gilles Meloche, the Barons had no stars. For two seasons they played at the Coliseum, but they were getting deeper in the red. At the same time, the Minnesota North Stars were also near bankruptcy. The NHL soon realized that it was about to lose two franchises, and made an attempt to cut its losses. It decided to merge Minnesota and Cleveland into one franchise, owned by the Gund brothers and based in Minnesota. Ironically, Minnesota was where the Crusaders had moved to in 1976. All players on the two teams were pooled, and the team then picked the best ones, with the rest being declared free agents. This marked the end of the NHL in Cleveland.
On June 8, 1998 firstname.lastname@example.org writes: I'm pretty sure that your web site was intended to give information about past professional sports teams that played at Richfield Coliseum. Anyways, the Cleveland Force were part of the Major Indoor Soccer League which was established in 1978. It lasted up until 1992. The Force played at Richfield Coliseum and when I was growing up they happened to be one of the more successful teams in the MISL. Unfortunately, the league wasn't able to survive due to soccer's unpopularity. Many people in Cleveland loved the Force and I just thought that a sight containing all the other Cleveland teams that had previously played at Richfield would also have the Force. Thanks for writing back and feel free to respond back to this message.
The Richfield Coliseum Is No More
The Place The CAVS Built Was Sold For $7.45 Million
RICHFIELD, Ohio, January 7, 1999 -- The place where the Cavaliers played the Bulls in professional basketball will soon revert to where deer and rabbits romp in the wild.
NewsChannel5 reports the San Francisco-based Trust for Public Land purchased the vacant Coliseum and its 300-acre site Thursday from businessmen George and Gordon Gund, the two groups announced.
The property between Cleveland and Akron will now be transferred to the National Park Service, which runs the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. The Coliseum will be demolished.
Chris Knopf, director of the Trust field office in Cleveland, said the trust paid the Gunds $7.45 million.
The sale was expected to take place in the next few days.
The Richfield Coliseum outside Cleveland was torn down this spring by wrecking ball from 3/99 to 5/99. It went unused from 10/93 until it was destroyed. It was eventually bought by the State of Ohio. It sits in the middle of the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area, and the site was supposedly given back over to the Park.
August 8, 1999 J. B. Maguire of Denver wrote: As promised, here are a couple of photos of the Richfield Coliseum shortly after it opened. These appeared in the Cleveland Crusaders 1974-75 Game Program. Both photos appear to have been taken facing the northeast corner of the building. Nick Mileti, owner of the Crusaders and the NBA Cavaliers (and who also owned at one point the Indians as well!), is shown posing in one of these photos.
While The Coliseum (its original title; "Richfield" was added to its name much later) generally resembles the artist's conception, note the differences between the painting and the finished product:
Image of the Richfield Coliseum provided by DON160@aol.com, thanks Don
- The arena is not built on a mound or with raised landscaping--the artist's conception shows a "short" look owing to the raised landscaping, but the Coliseum still had a "tall" appearance, even though the floor of the Coliseum was excavated 28 feet below ground. I believe the "tall" look came as result of the two rows of luxury suites and Swingo's restaurant.
- The drawing depicts about 14 angled columns on the length of the arena and 7 on the width with a huge entrance on the end. When complete, the Coliseum had 8 angled columns on the length and 6 on the width, with two much wider columns surrounding the ticket booth on the long east side. There may have been a similar ticket window on the west side, but I can't say for certain.
I can echo what that Kathi Sonoba said about The Coliseum. It was a very well-designed arena that was truly the first of a generation, yet it is far from being out of date as its date with oblivion approaches. It only had three things going against it: "location, location, location."