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The Journal Gazette

  • File The site of Memorial Coliseum was dedicated on Jan. 24, 1950.

  • File An aerial shot of Memorial Coliseum construction on Aug. 18, 1950, shows the surrounding area as mostly farmland.

  • File Memorial Coliseum begins to take shape in this photo from May 2, 1951.

  • File The sky peeks through as the roof begins to take shape on Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on May 2, 1951.

  • File One of Memorial Coliseum's original locker rooms is seen on Sept. 17, 1952. 

  • File Work is done on the clock for Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 17, 1952. It was sponsored by Wolf & Dessauer.

  • File Final touches are put on Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 17, 1952.

  • File The inside of Memorial Coliseum is seen on Sept. 17, 1952, just days before the dedication.

  • File Work is done on Memorial Coliseum on Sept. 17, 1952.

  • File Memorial Coliseum is seen on Sept. 17, 1952.

  • File The parking lot is seen from the Memorial Coliseum roof on Sept. 17, 1952.

  • File Memorial Coliseum was dedicated on Sept. 28, 1952. The podium for speeches was surrounded by flowers.

  • File Memorial Coliseum was dedicated on Sept. 28, 1952. The ceremony drew 10,000 people to the Coliseum.

  • File Memorial Coliseum was dedicated on Sept. 28, 1952.

  • File Memorial Coliseum was dedicated on Sept. 28, 1952. The ceremony drew 10,000 people to the arena.

Thursday, September 28, 2017 1:00 am

Throwback Thursday: Memorial Coliseum

Ground was broken for Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Jan. 24, 1950. There was nothing but farms in the area, but community leaders were optimistic the arena would become a prime destination.

“The value of the War Memorial Building will be felt by Fort Wayne and Allen County both from a cultural standpoint as well as from a recreational and commercial aspect,” said James R. Fleming, vice president of the Coliseum trustees, at the groundbreaking ceremony.

The $3 million project took more than two years to complete and was dedicated 65 years ago today on Sept. 28, 1952, in a ceremony that drew 10,000 people to the Coliseum to hear National Commander Lewis K. Gough of the American Legion talk about winning peace through strength in the Korean War.

The Komets have played at the Coliseum since 1952, and the Zollner Pistons played five seasons there before moving to Detroit.

It is currently the home of the Mad Ants as well as the venue for a variety of events including concerts, expos and the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette

Throwback Thursday appears the last week of the month. To see more archive photos throughout the month, follow @JGFeatures on Twitter. To suggest a date or event to be featured, email cmcmaken@jg.net.