Chicago Stadium was an indoor arena located in Chicago, Illinois that opened in 1929 and closed in 1994. It was the home of the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks….and the National Basketball Association’s Chicago Bulls…as it hosted the Chicago Blackhawks from 1929 to 1994….and the Chicago Bulls from 1967 to 1994. The arena was also the site of the first NFL playoff game in 1932….the 1932, 1940, and 1944 Democratic National Conventions….and the 1932 and 1944 Republican National Conventions….as well as numerous concerts, rodeo competitions, boxing matches, political rallies and plays.
The stadium was first proposed by Chicago sports promoter Paddy Harmon….who wanted to bring an NHL team to Chicago….but he lost out to Col. Frederic McLaughlin. This team would soon be known as the Chicago Black Hawks (later ‘Blackhawks’)….as Harmon then went on to at least try to get some control over the team by building a stadium for the Blackhawks to play in. He spent $2.5 million and borrowed more funds from friends, including James E. Norris in order to build the stadium.
Opened on March 28, 1929 at a cost of $9.5 million….Chicago Stadium was the largest indoor arena in the world at the time…..and It was also the first arena with an air conditioning system….although the system was fairly rudimentary by modern standards….and was memorably given to filling the arena with fog during late-season games. The largest recorded crowd for an NHL game at the stadium was 20,069 for a playoff game between the Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars on April 10, 1982.