Hollywood Sportatorium Marovitc, Mark. Aerial photo of the Hollywood Sportatorium looking west. Photo licensed under Creative Commons.

Hollywood Sportatorium

From 1970 to 1988, the Hollywood Sportatorium hosted some of the biggest names in rock. Originally planned as a sports arena, the Sportatorium never attracted a professional franchise.

Acts including Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Kiss played the venue during its early years, and before its 1988 closure, the “Sporto” welcomed concerts by musicians including Duran Duran, Madonna, Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith.

The Sportatorium also hosted Florida Artists Hall of Famers such as Tom Petty and Don Felder (with the Eagles), as well as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band.

Musicians bemoaned the terrible acoustics of the venue; Billy Joel called the Sportatorium an “acoustical nightmare.” Though rain often fell on the audience and the stage during heavy storms, the lack of any other venue of its size in South Florida made the Hollywood Sportatorium the only choice for large concert events in the area until the construction of the Miami Arena in 1988.

Vacant since 1988, and damaged by Hurricane Andrew, the Hollywood Sportatorium was demolished in 1993. Today, a supermarket stands on the site of what was once South Florida’s home to rock and roll superstars.