Charlotte Coliseum, now called Bojangle's Coliseum, was
opened and dedicated in 1955. At the time it was the
largest unsupported steel dome in the world. After
the new Charlotte Coliseum opened in 1988, the name
was changed to Independence Arena (named for its
location on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte) and
underwent an extensive renovation. Loca's lovingly
referred to it as the "Big I". In 2001 the arena
was named Cricket Arena in a naming rights
arrangement, and in 2009 became Bojangle's Arena
after the fried chicken chain reached a multi-year
licensing agreement with the city.
1955: Charlotte Coliseum
1988: Independence Arena
2001: Cricket Arena
2009: Bojangle's Arena
The Charlotte Coliseum as it looked in
Bojangle's Coliseum March 2009
This photograph is hanging on the wall
in the lobby at the Billy Graham Museum in Charlotte North Carolina.
The marquee promotes Graham's crusade at the Coliseum in 1972.
Another favorite Charlotte attraction at the Coliseum is also
featured on that marquee, and I'm not talking about Ice Hockey.
Elvis, and All-Star Wrestling: One Amazing Week at the Charlotte
(Thanks to Kyra Quinn for this snapshot
of the original photograph hanging at the Billy Graham Library.)
Fans started claiming their seats long
before the show began. Remember how much fun it was just waiting in
anticipation of what was to come?
Concession stands, like most everything
else, were a lot simpler in those days. Pizza was just 60 cents
a slice, and the popcorn was actually popped on site. I can smell that popcorn right now...
I swear, I remember this same
guy that tore your ticket on the way into the coliseum.
The Hill, that huge stretch of asphalt
that stretched above the coliseum. Hours before the show, cars
already had their spot in the lot.
The photos in the section above
from a special feature in a 1981 issue of a Japanese wrestling
magazine called Deluxe Pro Wrestling 1981 #7. The magazine found its
way to the Gateway courtesy of Greg Price. Thanks Greg.
While the building that replaced it in
1988 has already been demolished, the original Charlotte Coliseum
still proudly stands today. I stopped to take this photo on the way
to the Anderson Brothers Classic (ABC3) tournament in Charlotte.
(May 2008 - Photo by D. Bourne)
1960s Postcard of Independence
Blvd. in Charlotte, featuring the Charlotte Coliseum.
1965 Arial photo of Independence Blvd.
Modern Day Satellite Image from Google