Hollywood Sportatorium was Broward’s rock venue

A raucous, beer-spattered, marijuana-scented relic of Broward County history disappeared in 1993 when bulldozers tore down the old Hollywood Sportatorium.

From the time it opened in 1969, the hangar-like concrete structure was the place to hear big-time rock bands like Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead and Black Sabbath, as well as the occasional past-their-prime entertainer, like Elvis.

The Sportatorium’s acoustics were terrible, the crowds rowdy. At one Rush concert, the performance was delayed for so long that the crowd rioted, throwing rocks and beer bottles and getting tear-gassed by the police. Bruce Springsteen swore never to return after audience members urinated on stage.

But the 15,532-seat hall was also the scene of fond memories for many South Floridians, who enjoyed the youthful comradery of the traffic jams in and out, the ear-splitting music, the drugs and alcohol. The Sportatorium was demolished to make way for a suburban housing development and shopping center.

Copyright © 2014, Sun Sentinel

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-sportatorium-brow100-20141113-story.html?track=rss

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