Louis A.R. Pieri
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A “Class of 1963” charter inductee, Louis Arthur Raymond Pieri was the beloved owner of the Reds from 1939 until his unfortunate death in the summer of 1967.
Mr. Pieri, as everyone in his employ respectfully referred to him, was named general manager of the Reds and the RI Auditorium (The Arena) in 1929. The Reds became a charter member of the American Hockey League in 1936 and three years later he acquired the team.
Under his leadership, the Reds won 8 AHL division titles and 4 Calder Cup championships (1938-39, 1940-41, 1948-49, and 1955-56). On the year of his passing, the AHL instituted the Louis A.R. Pieri Award, presented annually to the league’s “Coach of the Year”. He was inducted into the AHL Hall of Fame in 2009.
A remarkable athlete, Mr, Pieri played football and baseball at Brown and, remarkably, in his senior year, he captained and coached the University’s basketball team.
He was the owner of the Providence Steamrollers, a basketball team that played in the Basketball Association of America, the forerunner of the NBA, from 1946 to 1949. One year later, he became an owner of the Boston Celtics until the team was sold in 1965. It was that connection that saw the Celtics schedule a handful of games each year at the Auditorium during his ownership.
One of the best known sports promoters of the twentieth century, in 1940, he and eight other arena managers around the country founded the Ice Capades as an additional means to entertain us while filling the seats at 1111 North Main Street. During his long and colorful career, he had also owned outright or in part Holiday on Ice and a highly successful stable of racehorses.