Valley Arena Holyoke’s New Indoor Sport Home

by Laurel | January 24th, 2014

24 January 1926

Holyoke Valley Arena

Holyoke Valley Arena

To be Ready for Boxing Shows Early Next Month

The Valley Arena, Holyoke’s new indoor sport home, is almost ready for use. It is expected that the first boxing shoe in the new home on Bridge Street south Holyoke, by the Valley A.C. will be put on between February 1 and February 10 but Matchmaker Arthur Greaney is unable yet to fix the exact date and so is not ready to announce the opening boxing program. The area will be the scene of basketball and roller polo as well as boxing, and the plant many also be used for dances, conventions, and other events that attract large gatherings.

The area is a large cylindrical brick structure and the guess that it was originally a gas house is obvious and so correct. In its remodeled form, for it has lost none of its soundness inside, every row of seats completes a circle. While there are promised accommodations at boxing events for 4000 the actual seating capacity is 2000 which means that there will be plenty of standing room.

From the ring in the center of the ground floor will radiate circles of seats, punctuated and reached by eight aisles, all leading to the ring from a six-foot promenade  in the rear and of course the promenade is circular. Above the main floor are two balconies and from any seat aloft the distance to the ring is comparatively short. The ground floor proper is a circle 76 feet in diameter and the building itself has a diameter approximately 100 feet.

Holyoke Valley Arena, 1926

Holyoke Valley Arena, 1926

Flooring for the base is maple laid on edge, one inch by three inches and the floor will be polished and generally of the character of the flooring of a bowling alley. Above the ring will be a canopy of high-powered lights and only these and the necessary lights indicating stairways, etc. will be on during contests in the ring.

For basketball purposes it is said a playing surface 70 by 45 feet will be available and for roller polo the entire floor inside the partition separating the seats from the floor proper. Great care has been exercised in arranging the fire escapes and for correct ventilation. Eight stairways and eight fire escapes have been provided so that the building may be emptied in quick time.

The ventilation system installed is said to cleanse the air completely twice in a minute or so and so smoking will be permitted at such programs as will not be disturbed by smoking.

Boxing bouts, of course, will be an important but not the main feature of the arena schedule. In fact, the Valley A. C. announces that it does not intend to run bouts every week or every fortnight or once a month but “when the proper matches present themselves.” Romer Rian Rainault, president of the Valley A. C.

On February 12 the Holyoke High School basketball team will play its most important game of the home season with Westfield High at the new plan. Nine days before that St. Jerome High and Rosary high also close basketball rivals will meet at the new arena.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Suggested Holyoke Books

Mountain Park -- The Holyoke destination we all loved.

Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College, Postcard History by Donna Albino. Many Holyoke women have attended Mount Holyoke. Author also maintains an amazing MHC website based upon her personal collection.

Holyoke - Chicopee, A Perspective

Holyoke-Chicopee: A Perspective, by Ella Merkel DiCarlo. DiCarlo, a former Transcript columnist offers a fascinating compilation of her essays. Published in 1982, this out-of-print book is worth looking for in the aftermarket.


Holyoke, by Craig Della Penna. The first Holyoke book in the Arcadia series, published in 1997.

Belle Skinner Collection

Belle Skinner Collection, by Ruth Isabel Skinner. Published in 1933, this book is long out of print but copies are still available in the aftermarket.

Mitch Epstein: Family Business

Mitch Epstein: Family Business Published in 2003, available in the aftermarket. Epstein's furniture.