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    The ultra-modern Scottrade Center rests on the former site of Kiel Auditorium, built in 1932 as a municipal auditorium for the citizens of St. Louis. Designed by St. Louis architects Louis LaBeaume and Eugene S. Klein, Kiel Auditorium served St. Louis for six decades as a center for conventions, public meetings, expositions, sports events and musical performances.

According to a 1934 mayoral proclamation, Kiel Auditorium was “designed to enrich the peoples’ lives and increase their enjoyment and…add to the attractiveness and popularity of our City as it will bring to us great conventions and cultural activities.” Originally known as the Municipal Auditorium, Kiel Auditorium was officially named in honor of former St. Louis mayor Henry W. Kiel on March 26, 1943. Kiel, a strong supporter of the arts, had encouraged the idea of a municipal auditorium and helped that concept become a reality.

During its early years, Kiel Auditorium hosted such varied events as the Grand Opera presentation of “La Boheme,” starring the famous soprano Lucrezia Bori, the first National Folk Festival, and a two-week-long exposition of St. Louis business and products called “St. Louis on Parade.” Later, the facility continued its tradition of diversity by hosting events ranging from the Ziegfield Follies, the Grand Ole Opry and the Metropolitan Opera to roller derby competitions, wrestling, and Broadway productions of “Annie,” “A Chorus Line,” “Evita” and “My Fair Lady.”

In addition to serving as the primary venue for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra, Dance St. Louis and St. Louis’ annual Veiled Prophet Ball, Kiel Auditorium served as the home court of the St. Louis Hawks professional basketball team and the Saint Louis University Billikens basketball team.

Among the many stars who performed at Kiel Auditorium were Jack Benny, Neil Diamond, Duke Ellington, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Bob Hope, the Jackson Five, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, the Supremes, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder.

In 1992, however, St. Louis city officials recognized the size inadequacy of the 9,000-seat Auditorium as well as the need for a new, state-of-the-art arena. Kiel Auditorium was torn down in December 1992 to make way for the multipurpose Kiel Center, which was opened in 1994. In August 2000, naming rights for the building were sold to SAVVIS Communications Corporation. In 2006, naming rights for the building were sold to Scottrade, a St. Louis-based leading branch-supported online brokerage. The building is now known as Scottrade Center.

Scottrade Center is now the home of the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the Saint Louis University Billikens basketball team, the St. Louis Steamers Major Indoor Soccer League and the RiverCity Rage National Indoor Football League. Scottrade Center also features a full range of arena programming, including concerts, ice shows, family shows and other sporting events. Scottrade Center plays host to approximately 175 events per year, bringing nearly 2 million guests to downtown St. Louis annually and ranking it as one of the top arenas in the country.

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