The Glory of Reunion Arena

The Glory of Reunion Arena

I’ve been to the Colosseum.  It’s nice.  It has beautiful architecture, is filled with almost 2000 years of history, is surrounded by great gelato places, and has this wonderful ‘broken down’ aesthetic going for it.  As great as the Colosseum is, there is one thing it lacks…a Stanley Cup championship. That’s why one of the most tragic closures of a major arena doesn’t belong to the Romans.  It belongs to Dallas and the glory that was the Reunion Arena. I'll explain further, starting with…

The History of the Reunion Arena

The Colosseum was built in 79 AD, which would explain why Reunion Arena had a much more modern design - finishing construction 1,901 years later in 1980.  The arena was built to the tune of $27 million dollars or 620,689.66 denarii (the Roman currency used during the construction of the Colosseum). And while the Colosseum is based out of Rome, Reunion Arena was located in the heart of downtown Dallas, not far from a historical French social community called “La Reunion”, hence the name, “Reunion arena”.  

Side Note - La Reunion only lasted for 18 months before dissolving the community, so I’m hoping there were a few other candidates worth naming our major sport complex after.  

Despite being named after a comically insignificant point in Dallas history, Reunion Arena opened to a beefy lineup of spectacular bands, which were all booked before the venue officially opened.

jason kidd gladiator

Concerts, Shows, and Spectacles

Reunion Arena was host to some of the greatest acts in American History. Parliment-Funkadelic played the first concert, and throughout the years bands and artists like Queen, Ozzy Osbourne, The Police, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston, Madonna, and Shania Twain played there.

Reunion Arena was also host to some memorable wrestling matches, including a WCCW Star Wars match that took place on Christmas in 1982.

The Sports

Of course, you can't talk about Reunion Arena without bringing up our beloved sports franchises. Reunion Arena was home to the budding Stars and infantile Mavericks. This is where the NHL and the NBA took off for Dallas, and now our teams are forever engraved into the Dallas culture.

When the Stars won the Stanley Cup in 1999, they brought it back to Reunion Arena. When the Mavs drafted Nowitzski and Nash, this is where they played. There is so much sports history in that arena, and that's not even counting the Sidekicks, arena football, and the NCAA.

The Gladiators

What is an arena without its gladiators?  Boring, is what it is.  Thankfully, Reunion Arena had no shortage of world-class athletes - many going into the Hall of Fame or having their jerseys retired.  Modano, Hull, Belfour, Nieuwendyke, Zubov, Lehtinen, Kidd, Nowitzski, Nash, and Finley. These were some of the most famous names in sports history, and most of them got their start in Reunion Arena. Who do you think the greatest gladiators of all time were? Spartacus? Attilius? Please. More like Fart-acus and Attili-wuss.

mike modano gladiator

The Changing Times

Just like Rome, Reunion Arena wasn't destined to live on forever. And while Rome beat us in the longevity department, Reunion Arena lived hard and fast - going down in a blaze of glory in 2009 when it was only 29 years old…so badass. 

After the Mavs and Stars moved to the American Airlines Center in 2001, Reunion Arena began its twilight years. It was home to the Sidekicks for another few years, hosted a few NCAA women's championship games, and closed with a Barack Obama rally in 2008.  In 2009 Reunion Arena was demolished to make room for...nothing.  Almost 15 years later nothing has been built in its place; however, there are plans to build hotels, restaurants, shops, apartments, and other various default buildings.

Dirk Nowitzki Gladiator

The Glory

Even though Reunion Arena was home to a Stanley Cup championship and more future champions, I think the greatest achievement for this venue was establishing Dallas as a sports town outside of football. Sure, the Cowboys are great, but isn't it even better to be good at all major sports?


For those of you new to the site, welcome and thank you for reading!  If you haven't noticed, we are an apparel company focused on the wonderful and weird history of Dallas and Texas.  We even have a Reunion Arena t-shirt!  If you're interested, the link is below.  Otherwise, thanks again for reading along!

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