St. Nicholas Rink
The St. Nicholas Rink, also called the St. Nicholas Arena, was an indoor ice rink
Ice rink
An ice rink is a frozen body of water and/or hardened chemicals where people can skate or play winter sports. Besides recreational ice skating, some of its uses include ice hockey, figure skating and curling as well as exhibitions, contests and ice shows...

, and later a boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 arena in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, from 1896 until 1962. The rink was the second ice rink utilizing mechanically frozen ice for its surface in North America, (the second after the North Avenue Ice Palace in Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

, Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 built in 1894), enabling a longer season for skating sports. It was demolished in the 1980s.

As a rink, it was used for pleasure skating, and the sports of ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 and skating
Ice skating
Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as lakes and...

. It was an important rink in the development of both sports in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. As a boxing arena, it was one of the first legal venues for boxing and remained a busy venue until its closing, although as the popularity of boxing grew, the sport outgrew the capacity of the arena to hold title fights. The arena hosted live boxing on television.


St. Nicholas Rink opened November 7, 1896, at 69 West 66th Street, on the northeast corner of 66th Street and Columbus Avenue
Ninth Avenue (Manhattan)
Ninth Avenue / Columbus Avenue is a southbound thoroughfare on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City. Traffic runs downtown along its full length...

. The builders included Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt
Cornelius Vanderbilt , also known by the sobriquet Commodore, was an American entrepreneur who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history...

 and John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor
John Jacob Astor , born Johann Jakob Astor, was a German-American business magnate and investor who was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States...

. Flagg
Ernest Flagg
Ernest Flagg was a noted American architect in the Beaux-Arts style. He was also an advocate for urban reform and architecture's social responsibility.-Biography:...

 and Chambers
Walter B. Chambers
Walter Boughton Chambers was a successful New York architect whose buildings continue to be landmarks in the city’s skyline and whose contributions to architectural education were far-reaching....

 were the architects. The ice rink used a mechanically frozen ice or "artificial ice" surface using techniques developed at the Glaciarium
The Glaciarium was the world's first mechanically frozen ice rink.An item in the 8 May 1844 issue of Littell's Living Age headed "The Glaciarium" reports that "This establishment, which has been removed to Grafton street East' Tottenham-court-road [sic],was opened on Monday afternoon...

 in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. A basement ice-making factory shared the ice-making equipment. The arena was used exclusively for ice sports until 1906, when boxing was introduced. In 1911, prize fight boxing was legalized and prize fights became a popular event at the arena. By 1920, the use of the arena for boxing made the ice rink dispensable and it was removed. The building continued as a boxing venue until 1962. The building itself was used as the television production center for the ABC Network and local station WABC-TV where Eyewitness News was broadcast. The building was demolished in the 1980s and the site converted to main offices of ABC Network.

Ice hockey

The rink was the home of the St. Nicholas hockey club of the (New York) Amateur Hockey League. The league operated its first season in 1896–97. The rink was also the site of numerous exhibitions of Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 ice hockey teams both against New York area teams and between the Canadian teams. A challenge between amateur teams of the U.S. and Canada was held there, called the "International Amateur Championship".

On February 26, 1900, the rink was the site of the first ice hockey game between Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 and Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, won by Yale 5–4.

The arena was the site of the first game between women's ice hockey teams in the United States. In 1917, the St. Nicholas team defeated Boston 1–0.

The St. Nicholas men's amateur team eventually moved to Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

 and played on Sunday afternoons in the Eastern Amateur Hockey League.


The Rink was a boxing venue from 1906 until May 28, 1962, the date of the last main event. Upon its demise, it was reported that more than 30,000 fights had been staged here. (Others estimate 10,000, to 15,000, to 20,000.) Accounts in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

say that boxing greats like Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson (boxer)
John Arthur Johnson , nicknamed the “Galveston Giant,” was an American boxer. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion...

, Jess Willard
Jess Willard
Jess Willard was a world heavyweight boxing champion. He won the heavyweight title from Jack Johnson in April 1915 and lost it to Jack Dempsey in July 1919....

, Kid Chocolate
Kid Chocolate
For the boxer of the same nickname see Peter Quillin.Eligio Sardiñas Montalvo , better known as Kid Chocolate, was a Cuban boxer who enjoyed wild success both in the boxing ring and in society life during a span of the 1930s.-Biography:Eligio Montaldo, also nicknamed The Cuban Bon Bon, learned how...

, Rocky Graziano
Rocky Graziano
Rocky Graziano, born Thomas Rocco Barbella in New York City , was an Italian American boxer. Graziano was considered one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history, often displaying the capacity to take his opponent out with a single punch...

 and Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) all fought there; the former heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson
Floyd Patterson
Floyd Patterson was an American heavyweight boxer and former undisputed heavyweight champion. At 21, Patterson became the youngest man to win the world heavyweight title. He was also the first heavyweight boxer to regain the title. He had a record of 55 wins 8 losses and 1 draw, with 40 wins by...

 fought his first professional match there in 1952. The last TV series on the DuMont
DuMont Television Network
The DuMont Television Network, also known as the DuMont Network, DuMont, Du Mont, or Dumont was one of the world's pioneer commercial television networks, rivalling NBC for the distinction of being first overall. It began operation in the United States in 1946. It was owned by DuMont...

 network was Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena
Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena
Boxing from St. Nicholas Arena was an American sports program originally broadcast on NBC from 1946 to 1948, and later on the now-defunct DuMont Television Network from 1954 to 1956.-Broadcast history:The DuMont version was hosted by Chris Schenkel....

which went off the air August 6, 1956.


The arena was also formative in the growing sport of figure skating
Figure skating
Figure skating is an Olympic sport in which individuals, pairs, or groups perform spins, jumps, footwork and other intricate and challenging moves on ice skates. Figure skaters compete at various levels from beginner up to the Olympic level , and at local, national, and international competitions...

. Championships were held at the rink starting in 1897. The last championship, a "North American Championship" was held in 1918.

External links

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