Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Cincinnati Gardens’ tag

1995-1998 Cincinnati Silverbacks

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Cincinnati Silverbacks ProgramNational Professional Soccer League (1995-1998)

Born: March 1995 – The Dayton Dynamo relocate to Cincinnati, OH
Folded: August 5, 1998


Team Colors:

OwnerDoug Kirchhofer, et al.

NPSL Championships: None


The Cincinnati Silverbacks of the mid-1990’s marked the second attempt to establish professional indoor soccer in the Queen City. The Silverbacks followed the short-lived Cincinnati Kids, parrtially owned by Pete Rose (!), who played a single season at the Riverfront Coliseum back in the winter of 1978-79.

The Silverbacks were owned by Knoxville, Tennessee sports executive Doug Kirchhofer, who put together a small empire of Cincinnati sports and entertainment interests during the 1990’s. Kirchhofer’s Cincinnati Entertainment Associates owned the Silverbacks, the Cincinnati Cyclones of the International Hockey League and the Cincinnati Stuff of the International Basketball League. Kirchhofer and his partners also engineered the $35 million purchase and renovation of the Riverfront Coliseum in 1997.

The Silverbacks never got much traction in Cincinnati.  Announced attendance languished at the ancient 10,000-seat Cincinnati Gardens during the club’s first two seasons. The club moved to the Riverfront Coliseum (re-named “The Crown”) in 1997 after Kirchhofer’s purchase of the bigger arena.  Crowds ticket up modestly at the Crown, but not enough to save the Silverbacks. The team claimed only 100 season ticket holders and less than $200,000 in corporate sponsorship in 1997-98. Silverbacks officials shuttered the team in the summer of 1998, finding it increasingly difficult to justify weekend dates for indoor soccer at The Crown at the expense of more profitable concerts and hockey games.

On the carpet, the Cincinnati Silverbacks brought in a handful of top indoor veterans, including Franklin McIntosh, Bernie Lilavois and Gino DiFlorio. DiFlorio finished 3rd in the NPSL in scoring in 1997-98. Carlos Pena held down starting goalkeeper duties for all three seasons.  The team never really put things together, managing a lone winning season (21-19) in 1996-97.  The Silverbacks finished in last place (15-25) in their final campaign in 1997-98.


Cincinnati Silverbacks Video



National Professional Soccer League Media Guides

National Professional Soccer League Programs


1971-1974 Cincinnati Swords

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Cincinnati SwordsAmerican Hockey League (1971-1974)

Born: 1971 – AHL expansion franchise.
Folded: June 1974 – The Swords cease operations.

Arena: Cincinnati Gardens

Team Colors:

Owner: Buffalo Sabres

Calder Cup Championships: 1973


Popular but short-lived minor league hockey team that played at the Cincinnati Gardens from the fall of 1971 through the spring of 1974.  The Cincinnati Swords were formed as an American Hockey League farm club of the NHL’s expansion Buffalo Sabres franchise (hence the name).

The team was outstanding, posting winning records in all three seasons of play.  The Swords ran away from the rest of the AHL in their second season. The club dominated the AHL with a 54-17-5 record and defeated the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in the Calder Cup finals.

Following the 1973-74 season, the Swords closed down to make way for the expansion Cincinnati Stingers of the World Hockey Association, due to arrive in the Queen City in the fall of 1975.  The Sabres signed an affiliation with the AHL’s Hershey Bears to replace Cincinnati in their farm system.


Cincinnati Swords Shop

Swords Retro T-Shirt by Throwback Max

Cincinnati Swords Memorabilia



American Hockey League Media Guides

American Hockey League Programs


Written by AC

July 13th, 2014 at 2:09 pm


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