The Madison Square Garden Bowl was the brainstorm of “Tex” Rickard, the famous boxing promoter and founder of the New York Rangers. Located on Northern Boulevard at 48th Street in Long Island City, the 72,000-seat arena was built for $132,000. Ground was broken in 1929 and it was completed in 1932. Rickard died before its completion, and the stadium was cursed from day one.
No champion who boxed there ever retained his crown, from its first fight on June 21, 1932, when Jack Sharkey relieved Max Schmeling of his title, to its last on May 28, 1938, when Henry Armstrong won the welterweight championship from Barney Ross.
Though featured in the 2005 film “Cinderella Man,” the stadium was gone decades before that. It was torn down during World War II, its metal components melted down to make bullets and other war materials, and replaced with an Army Postal Concentration Center to handle mail.
The site later became home to factories, and then car dealerships and a shopping center. The stadium, nicknamed the Jinx Bowl, goes down as one of the great flops of Queens sports history.