4 things you may not know about Hara Arena

The official word of Hara Arena's closure has saddened both music and sports fans alike. Here are four things you may not have known about the historic venue.

The Great One Debuts


The Great One was just 17-years-old when he skated on Hara's ice in 1978.

Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, arguably the greatest to ever play the game, took the ice for the first time as a professional at Hara. It was September 27, 1978 and he was a member of the Indianapolis Racers of the old World Hockey Association. The Racers played a preseason game against the Cincinnati Stingers. The 17-year-old Gretzky would be sent to Edmonton, who joined the NHL, later that season.

Championship Teams


The Dayton Gems won three Turner Cups during their time in the IHL.

Speaking of hockey, the Dayton Gems of the International Hockey League won three championships while playing in Hara. The team hoisted the Turner Cup in both 1969 and 1970, before going through some lean years. The Gems won their final IHL championship in 1976.

The 'Unofficial' Attendance Record

Fans filled the seats…and aisles for Frank Zappa in on November 20, 1974. The normally 5,500-seat venue was "unofficially" stretched well beyond that, with estimates approaching 10,000. Hara Arena might have shut down that night had the real numbers been released.


Hulk Hogan vs. Rick Flair

These two eventual Wrestling Hall of Famers battled it out for the first time in the "squared circle" at Hara in the early '90s. The bout wasn't announced beforehand.