The Cincinnati Stingers were an ice hockey team based in Cincinnati, Ohio that played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1975 to 1979 and in the Central Hockey League (CHL) during the 1979–80 season.
Their home arena was Riverfront Coliseum (now known as U.S. Bank Arena), and they were the only major-league hockey team ever to play in Cincinnati.
The Stingers franchise was awarded in 1974 as part of the WHA's ill-conceived attempt at expansion.
They entered the league for the 1975-76 season along with the Denver Spurs. Most of the league's existing teams were not financially stable and franchise relocations were commonplace.
Nonetheless, the Stingers achieved enough stability that they were the only one of the WHA's five expansion teams that lasted through the end of the league.
However, they were left out of the WHA-NHL merger that took place in the summer of 1979. The WHA insisted on including all three of its surviving Canadian teams even though below-average attendance made it unlikely that the Stingers would have made the cut in any event.
The Stingers (along with the Birmingham Bulls) were paid to disband when the WHA ceased operations.
The Stingers were the first professional team of long-time NHL star Mike Gartner. Mark Messier and Mike Liut also played for the Stingers. Messier was placed on a line with Robbie Ftorek, one of the top scorers in the league, but managed only one goal.
After the WHA shut down, a minor professional version of the Cincinnati Stingers began the 1979–80 season in the Central Hockey League.
The largest crowd in Cincinnati Stingers history was on March 11, 1978 when 13,951 fans attended a game at Riverfront Coliseum between the Stingers and the Edmonton Oilers, a game Cincinnati won 2-0.
The smallest crowd in Cincinnati Stingers history was on January 4, 1978 when 4,048 attended a game at Riverfront Coliseum between the Stingers and the Houston Aeros resulting in a 5-3 Cincinnati win.
World Hockey Association
|1975–76||80||35||44||1||71||285||340||1344||4th, Eastern||Did not qualify|
|1976–77||81||39||37||5||83||354||303||970||2nd, Eastern||Lost Quarterfinals (Racers)|
|1977–78||80||35||42||3||73||298||332||1701||7th, WHA||Did not qualify|
|1978–79||80||33||41||6||72||274||284||1651||5th, WHA||Lost Quarterfinals (Whalers)|
Central Hockey League