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Philadelphia's Pro Football Stadiums

 

How many Philadelphia stadiums have regularly hosted pro football teams?

While everyone remembers Veterans' Stadium as the long time home of the Philadelphia Eagles, many can still recall the team playing at Franklin Field and Shibe Park.  But just as the Birds aren't the only pro team to have hailed from Philadelphia, those old venues weren't the only stadiums to host pro football in the city.

This page is an attempt to document the most prominent of Philadelphia's historical pro football stadiums, most of which have long since been lost to the wrecking ball.  Please remember, however, that while this listing is fairly comprehensive it is by no means complete.  From the late 1800s through to the present Philadelphia has been home to countless small stadiums and athletic fields which were, in turn, home to an equally countless number of club football and semi-pro teams. 


BAKER BOWL

Baker Bowl

aka: National League Park / Phillies' Ball Park, 1895-1937; Huntingdon Street Baseball Grounds, 1895-1913; Baker Bowl, 1913-50
Style: Major league baseball park
Location: Broad & Huntingdon Sts., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Opened: 1887; destroyed by fire and rebuilt, 1895
Pro Football History: Served as the home field to a number of professional football teams including the Philadelphia Professionals, 1901; the Philadelphia Phillies of the original National Football League, 1902; the Union Quakers, 1921; the NFL Frankford Yellow Jackets, 1931; and the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, 1933-35.  Also played host to Union AA's 1920 contests vs. Frankford Yellow Jackets, Holmesburg AC and the Canton Bulldogs. 
Misc: Home to baseball's National League Philadelphia Phillies, 1885-1937, it was nick-named the "Hump" because it was built on an elevated piece of ground that had Reading Railroad tunnels running under the outfield.  Abandoned by the Phillies after 1937, it was demolished in 1950.
More Info: Munsey & Suppes -- Baker Bowl


COLUMBIA BALL PARK

Columbia Ball Park

Style: Baseball park
Location: 2900 Columbia Ave., Brewerytown section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1901
Pro Football History: Columbia Park served as the home field of the of the original National Football League's Philadelphia Athletics football club, 1902.
Misc: This stadium was the home of baseball's American League Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-08.
More Info: Munsey & Suppes -- Columbia Park


COMMUNITY MEMORIAL STADIUM

Community Memorial Stadium

Image courtesy, Frankford High School.

aka: Frankford Memorial Stadium
Style: High school football stadium
Location: Wakeling & Large Sts., Frankford section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1922 
Pro Football History: Although it never hosted an NFL contest, Memorial Stadium was the site of several Yellow Jackets' games, including the 1931 home opener against the Newark Vikings -- the Jackets' final home victory -- and served as the home field of the Frankford Legion, 1931-32.
Misc:
Home field of Frankford High School, this stadium was dedicated as a memorial to local residents who served in World War I and made available to the public whenever not in use by the school.


FRANKFORD STADIUM

Yellow Jacket Field

Image courtesy, Wissinoming Historical Society.

aka: Yellow Jacket Field
Style: Pro football stadium
Location: Frankford Ave. & Devereaux St., Wissinoming section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1923 
Pro Football History: Home field of the Frankford Yellow Jackets for the team's 1923 independent season and 1924-30 NFL seasons.
Misc: Frankford Stadium was severely damaged by fire following the 1930 NFL season and subsequently abandoned by the Yellow Jackets.  A portion of the stadium property was purchased in 1933 by the Frankford Legion AA.  This organization cleared the property and constructed new grandstands, christening the facility Frankford Legion Athletic Field.  When the Frankford Legion AA reorganized as the Northeast Philadelphia AA later that year, the facility's name was changed to Yellow Trojan Field.

Additional Images

Yellow Jacket Field Scoreboard, 1928 North Grandstand, Thanksgiving Day 1926 Gameyday Crowd Inside Yellow Jacket Field, Date Unknown Gameyday Crowd Outside Yellow Jacket Field, Date Unknown Aerial View of Yellow Jacket Field, ca. 1923-26
Scoreboard North Stands Crowd, Inside Crowd, Outside Aerial View

FRANKLIN FIELD

Franklin Field

Image courtesy, University of Pennsylvania Archives.

Style: College football stadium
Location: 235 S. 33rd St., University City section of Philadelphia
Opened:
1925 
Pro Football History: Home field of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, 1958-70; and WFL Philadelphia Bell, 1975.
Misc: Franklin Field is the home field of the University of Pennsylvania.  The oldest two-tiered stadium in the country, it was constructed in two phases: lower level in 1922 and upper level in 1925.  The actual playing field has been in use since 1895 and is recognized by the NCAA as the oldest collegiate football field still in use in the nation. 
Official Homepage: Penn Athletics -- Franklin Field 


JOHN F. KENNEDY STADIUM

JFK Stadium

Image courtesy, Rich Westcott.

aka: Sesquicentennial Stadium, 1920's; Municipal Stadium, 1930's-63; John F. Kennedy (JFK) Stadium, 1964-94
Style: College football stadium
Location: Stadium Complex, South Philly section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1926 
Pro Football History: Home field of the AFL(I) Philadelphia Quakers, 1926; and the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, 1936-39. In addition, Municipal Stadium played host to several other NFL contests, including the Frankford Yellow Jackets vs. Brooklyn Dodgers, October 2, 1931; Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants, September 13, 1941; Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins, September 28, 1947; Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns, September 16, 1950; Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angles Rams, October 7, 1950; and Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns, September 26, 1954. 
Misc: This venue was originally constructed for the Sesquicentennial International Exhibition of 1926 at a cost of $3,000,000 and featured a "modern loudspeaker system."  It served as the long time site of the annual Army-Navy game.  The stadium was torn down in the early 1990's to make way for construction of the First Union Center, home of NHL Philadelphia Flyers and NBA Philadelphia 76ers.
More Info: Tribute & Photos of JFK Stadium in Philadelphia 


LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD 

Lincoln Financial Field

Image courtesy, Philadelphia Eagles.

Style: Modern pro football stadium
Location: Stadium Complex, South Philly section of Philadelphia
Opened:
2003
Pro Football History: This recently opened ultra-modern football stadium is the new home of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, 2003-present.
Official Homepage: Lincoln Financial Field


SHIBE PARK

Shibe Park

aka: Connie Mack Stadium, 1953-70
Style: Major league baseball park
Location: 21st & Lehigh Sts., Swampoodle section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1909 
Pro Football History: Home field of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, 1940-42, and from 1944-57; and the NFL Phil-Pitt Steagles, 1943 (4 of 6 home games).  In addition, Shibe Park played host to at least two other NFL contests: Frankford Yellow Jackets vs. Chicago Bears, December 5, 1925; and Frankford Yellow Jackets vs. Chicago Bears, December 4, 1926.  It also served as the site of two ALF(I) games: Philadelphia Quakers vs. Los Angles Wildcats, November 20, 1926; and Philadelphia Quakers vs. New York Yankees, November 27, 1926.  On a more notorious note, the stadium hosted the December 12, 1925, NFL Pottsville Maroons vs. Notre Dame All-Stars game.  The Maroons' NFL franchise was suspended as a result of the team's participation in that contest, costing Pottsville the 1925 NFL championship!
Misc: Opened on April 12, 1909, Shibe Park was the first concrete and steel major league baseball park.  It served as home to the American League's Philadelphia Athletics, 1909-54, and the National League's Philadelphia Phillies for part of 1927 and 1938-70. It was damaged by fire in 1971 and torn down in 1976.
More Info: Munsey & Suppes -- Shibe Park 


TEMPLE STADIUM

Temple Stadium

Image courtesy, Dennis Kuno.

aka: Beury Stadium, Owl Stadium
Style:
College football stadium
Location: Mt. Pleasant & Cheltenham Aves., East Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1928
Pro Football History: This stadium served as the site of at least two NFL games: Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cincinnati Reds, November 6, 1934; and Philadelphia Eagles vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, September 13, 1935.  The 1934 Eagles-Reds contest, a 0 to 64 Philadelphia loss, was the first NFL game in which one team scored ten touchdowns.
Misc: Temple Stadium served as the home field of Temple University football, 1928-75. Although the stadium building was demolished in 1997 the playing field was preserved until 2002.


VETERANS STADIUM

Veterans Stadium

Image courtesy, Aerial Views Publishing.

aka: The Vet
Style:
Modern multipurpose stadium
Location: Stadium Complex, South Philly section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1971
Pro Football History: Home field of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles, 1971-2002; and USFL Philadelphia Stars, 1983-84.
Misc: Veterans Stadium was the site of the October 4, 1987, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Chicago Bears contest, a game that had the distinction of drawing the lowest recorded modern NFL crowd, at 4,074. Demolished in 2004.
Official Homepage: Philadelphia Dept. of Recreation -- Veterans Stadium


WACHOVIA CENTER

Wachovia Center

Image courtesy, Philadelphia.About.com.

aka: Cores States Center, 1996-98; First Union Center, 1998-2003
Style:
Modern multipurpose arena
Location: Stadium Complex, South Philly section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1996
Pro Football History: Primary home field of the AFL Philadelphia Soul, 2004-present.
Misc: Opened in 1996, the Wachovia Center is the home of the NHL Philadelphia Flyers and NBA Philadelphia 76ers.
Official Homepage: Comcast Spectacor -- Wachovia Center


WACHOVIA SPECTRUM

Wachovia Spectrum

Image courtesy, Philadelphia.About.com.

aka: The Spectrum, 1967-91; Cores States Spectrum, 1991-98; First Union Spectrum, 1998-2003
Style:
Multipurpose arena
Location: Stadium Complex, South Philly section of Philadelphia
Opened: 1967
Pro Football History: Secondary home field of the AFL Philadelphia Soul, 2004-present.
Misc: Home of the NHL Philadelphia Flyers, 1967-96; NBA Philadelphia 76ers, 1967-96; NLL Wings, 1987-present; MISL Philadelphia Kixx, 1996-present; AHL Philadelphia Phantoms, 1996-present.
Official Homepage: Comcast-Spectacor -- Wachovia Spectrum


STADIUM LOCATIONS

In order to provide some sense of where the aforementioned stadiums are (or were, as the case may be) located within Philadelphia, their approximate locations have been plotted on an old ward map of the city (below).  The red numbers correspond to the various stadiums as follows: 

1 - Baker Bowl (now demolished)
2
- Columbia Ball Park (now demolished)
3 - Community Memorial Stadium
4 - Frankford Stadium, and later Frankford Legion / Yellow Trojans' Athletic Field (all now demolished)
5 - Franklin Field
6 - South Philadelphia Stadium Complex, the site of JFK Stadium (now demolished), Veterans Stadium (now demolished), Wachovia Center, Wachovia Spectrum and Lincoln Financial Field
7 - Shibe Park (now demolished)
8 - Temple Stadium (now demolished)

Stadium Location Map


John J. Fenton, 2012-2001, all rights reserved.