The Madhouse on Madison

October 10th, 2015 | by

Between the Bulls and Blackhawks, the Stadium hosted 10 Stanley Cup Finals and three NBA Finals.

Opened on March 28, 1929, the Chicago Stadium served host to numerous sporting events, concerts and political conventions. Built at a cost of $7 million, the Madhouse on Madison served as the home of the Chicago Bulls (1967-1994) and the Chicago Blackhawks (1929-1994) through the end of their respective seasons in 1994.

Over the years, the Stadium played host to the NBA, the NHL, the NASL and MISL, and even the NFL.

On Dec. 15, 1930, the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Cardinals playe the NFL’s first indoor football game on an 80-yard field. The game, played as an exhibition contest that the Bears won 9-7, served as a charity game to aid those affected by the Great Depression.

Just over two years later, on Dec. 18, 1932, the Bears returned to play the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans in the 1932 NFL Championship Game. In front of 11,198 fans, Bronko Nagurski found Red Grange on a two-yard touchdown pass to help lead the Bears to a 9-0 win and claim the NFL Championship.

For 65 years, the Chicago Blackhawks called historic Chicago Stadium home. After playing their inaugural season at International Amphitheatre in 1966-67, the Chicago Bulls moved to the west side in the fall of 1967. Between the two teams, the Stadium hosted 10 Stanley Cup Finals and three NBA Finals. The Stadium, which was located at 1800 W. Madison Street, was demolished in February of 1995.


[table class=”table table-striped” th=”0″]
Seating capacity:,18\,676 for basketball and 17\,317 for hockey
First sporting event:,Tommy Loughran defended his light heavyweight title against Mickey Walker before 14\,554 fans on March 28\, 1929
First Bulls game:,The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Bulls 107-105 on Oct. 17\, 1967
Last Bulls game:,Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals\, a 93-79 Bulls win over the New York Knicks on May 20\, 1994
Largest Bulls game:,21\,652 on April 8\, 1977 against the Houston Rockets
Most points scored in a game by a player:,68 by Wilt Chamberlain on Dec. 16\, 1967
Most rebounds in a game by a player:,37 by Tom Boerwinkle on Jan. 8\, 1970
First Blackhawks game:,3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Dec. 15\, 1929
Last Blackhawks game:, Game 6 of the Conference Quarterfinals\, a 1-0 defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 28\, 1994
Largest Blackhawks game:, 20\,069 on April 10\, 1982 versus the Minnesota North Stars
Championships won at the Stadium:,1934 Stanley Cup\, 1938 Stanley Cup\, 1992 NBA Finals

  • Site of the 1973 and 1988 NBA All-Star Games, and the NHL All-Star Game in 1948, 1961, 1974 and 1991
  • Hosted the funeral of Chicago Mayor Anton J. Cermak on March 10, 1933
  • Hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1932, 1940 and 1944, as well as the Republican National Convention in 1932 and 1944
  • Home of the “famous” 3,663-pipe Barton organ
  • Was the first major arena equipped with an air conditioning system

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