New Haven, CT — Any trace of the New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum – a 1990s indoor racing venue – will disappear once its two 90-foot-tall parking ramp helixes are removed. The stadium shell and its unique rooftop garage were imploded Jan. 20 to make way for a new Long Warf Theater and a parking lot on its four acres.
The coliseum hosted three three-quarter midget racing programs in winter 1993-4 and a 1997 one micro stock and go kart event. Mike Tidaback, Ken Zriniski and Paul Verhoest won their respective features Dec. 11, 1993 and Jan. 22 and Feb. 5 1994. Rick Walsh, of Orange, Conn., recalled splitting two micro stock features there with now-sprint car star Rick Lafferty.
“We had a lot of fun going around the hockey rink outline on the floor,” said New England Micro Stock Association President Walsh. “It was a one-10th-mile concrete oval. The corners came at you so fast that you held your breath through them.”
Walsh added that he attended several concerts, trade shows and mud bog hops over the arena’s 36 years. The coliseum, built for $19 million in 1971, was recently losing out to newer nearby concert venues. The city council approved its demolition in 2005.