Designed by the architectural firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Memorial Coliseum opened for business on November 1, 1960. The Coliseum has been called home by several Portland-area sports franchises over the years including the Buckaroos of the old Western Hockey League, the Winterhawks of the current Western Hockey League, and the Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. Following the 1994-95 NBA regular and post-seasons, the Trail Blazers played 1,093 games in 25 years at the Coliseum, including 71 post-season playoff contests, nine games in the NBA Finals, and one World Championship. Upon leaving the Coliseum, the Trail Blazers had sold out 810 consecutive regular season and playoff games, a record unmatched by any franchise in professional sports. Total capacity for NBA Basketball is 12,888. The Blazers moved into their new home, the Rose Garden, for the 1995-96 season.
The Memorial Coliseum was designed as a flexible, multi-purpose venue. In addition to the numerous basketball and hockey contests held at the facility, the Coliseum has been host to hundreds of concerts, rodeos, circuses, ice shows, and trade shows. In 1965 the Coliseum hosted the NCAA Final Four collegiate basketball tournament. November 1, 1974 marked the first time in history a U.S. President attended an NBA game as President Gerald Ford watched the Blazers defeat the Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clippers), 113-106 in the Coliseum. Artists and bands who have performed at the Coliseum include The Beatles (August 22, 1965), Elvis Presley (November 11, 1970), Aretha Franklin (November 1, 1968), Louis Armstong (October 6, 1962), and many more.