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Downtown Greensboro had a 20,000 seat arena back in 1908


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The title of the thread sounds like an April Fools joke but yes downtown Greensboro temporarily had an arena that seated 20,000 back in 1908. Enormous for the time and was the largest indoor arena south of New York City. Greensboro had it for a few years. It was actually constructed in Jamestown, VA and was shipped in pieces to Greensboro and rebuilt. It was located at South Church Street and East Sycamore which is where the News and Record is located today. It was built for the city's centennial anniversary and actually had more seats than the city's population at the time. But it had events that packed the facility. It was officially called the Greensboro Auditorium but was known as the hippodrome. There were plans to keep it in Greensboro but long term it was not financial feasible for a facility that large to be a permanent fixture so it was taken a part and shipped to Columbia, SC at the state fairgrounds where it remained for many years.

In a few weeks another large venue will open in downtown Greensboro and that's the Tanger Center. It's the largest performing arts center in the Carolinas and one of the largest in the nation. But unlike the hippodrome, the Tanger Center will be a permanent fixture in downtown Greensboro. It seems like when it comes to arenas and "auditoriums" Greensboro always goes big. When the Carolina Theater opened in 1926 it was extravagant. When the Greensboro Coliseum expanded to 23,500 seats, people wondered how could Greensboro support an arena that large without a major league sports tenant. But it has and it is a driver for economic growth and national city exposure. Even today it remains the largest arena in North Carolina and includes an entire Coliseum complex unlike anything in the United States.




Edited by cityboi
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