FAIRGROUNDS COLISEUM

 

The Fairgrounds Coliseum opened in 1923.  It served as the home court for the University of Dayton Flyers Men’s Basketball Team for some 25 seasons (with a break for World War II) until the opening of the on-campus UD Fieldhouse in 1950.  In that time, it has had all-time attendance records set there, been home to historical milestones of race and gender and was the launching pad for the phenomenon that is UD basketball.  As for historical moments at the Fairgrounds, there’s December 19, 1948 when the Dayton Rens played their first game at the Coliseum.  At the time, the Rens were a member of the National Basketball League (NBL), which in a year would merge with the rival Basketball Association of America to form the now-so-popular NBA.  The Rens were the first all-black team to play in a white league in America.  Their efforts, not always fully embraced here, helped integrate the NBA a season after it was formed.  Another historical note occurred in 1930, that’s when the Dayton City League (BIG-6 Conference) begin playing their high school league games there in a triple header format.  The original members of the league included Steele, Stivers, Roosevelt, Kiser, Fairview and Chamindae.