SUTPHIN, ALBERT C. (AL) (11 Apr. 1895-25 June 1974) sports promoter and businessman, was born in Franklin, Ohio, the son of Carleton Ernest and Elizabeth Thayer Sutphin. About 1912 the family came to Cleveland, and Albert attended CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, playing HOCKEY (ICE) on the school team until he left to work for the Braden Ink Co. By the mid-1920s, he was Vice President of the Braden-Sutphin Ink Co. and later president of the firm, which produced graphic arts equipment, inks, printing materials and supplies. A sports enthusiast, Sutphin played semi-pro football and baseball and was Cleveland's boxing commissioner in the early 1930s. In 1934 he bought the faltering Cleveland Indians hockey team, changed their name to the Cleveland Falcons, and entered the newly formed American Hockey League. The team played at the ELYSIUM until Sutphin organized a syndicate of investors in 1936 to build the CLEVELAND ARENA which opened in 1937 with the Ice Follies show. Although the hockey team, now named the CLEVELAND BARONS, was its primary tenant, Sutphin tirelessly promoted the Arena as the site for a variety of indoor events, and its mortgage was paid off in 12 years. In 1949, he sold the arena and the Barons to a group of Minneapolis businessmen but continued to support sports in Cleveland. He retired to Florida in 1967.
Sutphin married Mary A. Hoynes 14 Aug. 1922 and they had six children, James H., Albert C., Mary Elizabeth, Jane and Caroline Leitch, and Alberta Stoney. He died at his home in Fort Myers, Florida and was buried there.Last Modified: 22 Jul 1997 05:08:41 PM