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Denver Auditorium Arena was an indoor arena located at the corner of 13th and Champa Streets in Denver, Colorado. It was constructed as the Denver Municipal Auditorium in 1908 during the administration of Denver Mayor Robert W. Speer. The building was opened on July 7, 1908, and was the site of the 1908 Democratic National Convention.

Denver Auditorium Arena
Location14th and Arapahoe Streets, Denver, Colorado 80204
Coordinates39°44′40″N 104°59′51″W / 39.74444°N 104.99750°W / 39.74444; -104.99750Coordinates: 39°44′40″N 104°59′51″W / 39.74444°N 104.99750°W / 39.74444; -104.99750
OwnerCity and County of Denver
OperatorCity and County of Denver
Capacity12,500 (original), 6,841 (renovated)
Broke ground1908
OpenedJuly 7, 1908
ArchitectRobert Willison
Denver Nuggets (NBL/NBA) (1948–1950)
Denver Rockets/Nuggets (ABA) (1967–1975)
Denver Racquets (WTT) (1974)
Denver Comets (IVA) (1977–1979)

With a capacity of 12,500, the building was at the time of its opening the second largest in America to Madison Square Garden.[1] Initially, the venue was configured and equipped to hold numerous kinds of events including theater, opera, conventions, sporting events, exhibitions, concerts, and more. Renovations were made to the building in the 1940s, and in 1953 the southern half of the building was converted into the Auditorium Arena, a pure sporting venue with seating capacity of 6,841.


It hosted the ABA's Denver Rockets, later the Denver Nuggets, from 1967 until they left for McNichols Sports Arena in 1975. The Auditorium Arena was an annual host of the Colorado high school state basketball tournament, primarily for the smaller-enrollment classifications.

The Auditorium Arena was home to the Denver Comets of the professional International Volleyball Association from 1977–1979, and home to the Denver Racquets of World Team Tennis in 1974, when they won the league championship before moving to Phoenix for the 1975 season.

On December 26, 1968, the rock group Led Zeppelin played their first concert in the United States at the Auditorium Arena.[1]

In the last several years of its existence, the building was a popular venue for professional wrestling, hosting both AWA and WWF events.

In 1990, the Arena portion of the building (built in 1953) was demolished to make room for the Temple Buell Theatre, and in 2005, the Auditorium portion of the building (built in 1907-08) was remodeled into the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.


Events and tenants
Preceded by
First arena
Home of the
Denver Nuggets (original)

1948 – 1950
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Home of the
Denver Rockets/Denver Nuggets

1967 – 1975
Succeeded by
McNichols Sports Arena