EXPOSITION PARK (CBSLA.com) — A walk through the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Exposition Park Tuesday with hundreds of objects marked for auction was like walking through the gates of history.
The iconic venue, which opened in 1959, became a fixture in Southern California's music, sports and convention scene for nearly six decades.
Vice President Richard Nixon delivered the dedication address for the facility, which will be demolished to make room for a soccer stadium.
Memorabilia from the Democratic convention in 1960, which nominated John F. Kennedy for president 56 years ago this week, to the rally for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders less than a year ago have been put up for a one-day online auction on Wednesday.
Among the many items up for bid are stadium seating, turnstiles, concession stands, chairs, scoreboards, speakers, restaurant equipment, hockey goals and lockers.
Dan Rendant stopped by Tuesday just to reminisce. "I've been coming here since the building opened. I was about 5 years old," he said. "Lot of great hockey games and basketball games."
"So, if you sat up close, you'd get sprayed with ice. Remember seeing Wilt Chamberlain playing for the first time," Rendant recalled. "Olympics 1984, boxing was right here. All the great boxers," including Muhammad Ali.
Hundreds of movies were also filmed at the venue. "Rocky 1 was shot here. I remember it was a very low-budget movie, and nobody knew who Sylvester Stallone was," Rendant remembered.
The arena was also home to sold-out concerts by bands and artists including Grateful Dead, Madonna, Michael Jackson, U2, Pink Floyd and Bruce Springsteen. He first performed there in 1981.
Springsteen spoke about this sports arena that had so much history. "This is the last rock show at the sports arena," said the singer, who played before the last live audience at the venue on March 21.
Rendant said: "I won't look back, but I'll take one more look" - one more look at a lifetime of memories that aren't for sale.
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