Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Valley Arena

Located on South Bridge Street in Holyoke, MA, USA, the Valley Arena opened in 1926, when Homer Raineault converted the "Gas House" into a boxing arena. He ran it until he died in 1944, when his nephew, Oreal Raineault, took over. Shows were on Monday nights. (In 1936, ticket prices were 40 cents.)

It was known as having a great atmosphere, with foot-stomping and hand-clapping. Big bands appeared there on weekends (including the Dorseys, Glenn Miller, and acts by boxers Max Baer and Maxie Rosenbloom). The venue also presented wrestling.

Many well-known fighters appeared here, including Rocky Marciano (who made his pro debut here), Willie Pep, Sandy Saddler, Beau Jack, Sixto Escobar, Lou Salica, Fritzie Zivic, Paddy DeMarco, Tony DeMarco, and Lou Ambers.

Joe Louis refereed a wrestling match here, and Jersey Joe Walcott fought an exhibition. Visiting boxers usually came by train or bus from New York and slept above Kelly's Lobster House.

The arena twice burned to the ground (on June 13, 1943, and 1952) and was restored (re-opening the second time in May 1953). It closed for good on May 12, 1960, when it was destroyed by a third fire. (Wikipedia)


1 comment:

boxinglover9 said...

OT: This promo rocks! When you get this cool Manny Pacquiao Official Headphones , you could get one golden ticket redeemable for $1,000! MP Headphones plus cool cash!!!