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Historic Hersheypark Arena exterior shot

Hersheypark Arena History

Opened in December, 1936, Hersheypark Arena has hosted many memorable events.

More Than 70 Years of Entertaining Memories

There are more than 70 years of memories in Hersheypark Arena; let's take a trip down memory lane and relive some of our best memories...

  • December 19, 1936: The sports arena opens. Constructed by D. Paul Witmer and is connected to the western end of the old Convention Hall.
  • December 13, 1937: M.S. Hershey's 80th birthday party is held in the Hershey Sports Arena. His employees present him with a yellow-gold octagon ring, with 18 blue-white diamonds set in platinum, enclosing the "baby in a cocoa shell" trademark of Hershey Chocolate Corporation.
  • November 5, 1938: Hershey Bears play their first professional hockey game at the Sports Arena. The team originated in 1935 as the Hershey B'ars.
  • February 10, 1941: The Ice Capades perform in the Sports Arena for the first time.
  • October 13, 1953: A birthday party is held for President Dwight Eisenhower; the National Republican Party sponsored the party.
  • March 2, 1962: Wilt Chamberlain scores a record 100 points against the New York Knicks in a game played in Hersheypark Arena.
  • March 28, 1979: Hersheypark Arena serves as an evacuation center for about 150 people during the Three Mile Island nuclear emergency.
  • April 11, 1987: Hersheypark Arena celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special show featuring George Burns, Patti Page, and Mark Hart.
  • May 1988: Hershey Bears set a professional Hockey record as the only team to go 12-0 in the playoffs and win the Calder Cup.
  • October 1989: Hersheypark Arena celebrated 50 years of Ice Capades at The Hotel Hershey, the birthplace of the Ice Capades on February 14, 1940.
  • September 13, 1995: First day of Issue ceremony at Hersheypark Arena to officially unveil the First Class United States Postage Stamp honoring Milton S. Hershey as a philanthropist.
  • June 13, 1997: Hershey Bears win their 8th Calder Cup title and Mike McHugh is named the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.
  • 1998: Hersheypark Arena was ranked #7 facility with seats (5,001-10,000) ranked by Gross as compiled by Amusement Boxscores. That year, Hersheypark Arena also broke 9 facility records.
  • 2000: Hersheypark Arena was ranked #4 facility with seats (5,001-10,000) ranked by Gross as compiled by Amusement Boxscores.

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