History Podcasts

History of Football Stadiums

History of Football Stadiums

Football stadiums were initially very primitive. Therefore, the first FA Cup final was held in 1872 at the Kennington Oval, a cricket ground built in 1845. The Oval hosted the final until 1892. The following year, the final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton was held at Fallowfield in Manchester.

Goodison Park was the first purpose built football stadium in England. It cost £8,090, and was officially opened on 24th August 1892. It consisted of two uncovered stands, each to accommodate 4,000 and a covered stand to accommodate 3,000 people. In 1894 it hosted the FA Cup final between Notts County and Bolton Wanderers, a match with an attendance of 37,000.

Women were initially allowed in free at some grounds as it was believed that it would improve the behaviour of make fans. When Preston North End introduced free tickets in April, 1885, over 2,000 women turned up for the game. Free entry for women was so popular that by the late 1890s all the football clubs had discontinued the scheme.

In 1896 Arnold Hills, the chairman of West Ham United, announced that he had purchased land at Canning Town, Hills built what became known as the Memorial Grounds. It cost £20,000 to build and was considered to be one of the best stadiums in the country. Hills claimed it could hold 133,000 spectators and applied to hold an FA Cup Final at the Memorial Grounds. This only allowed 16 inches for each person and the Football Association turned the idea down.

Arnold Hills wanted to hold other sporting events, including cycling and athletics. As well as a football arena, it also had a cinder running track, tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool. According to one report, the 100 feet (30.4m) long pool was the largest in England. The Memorial Grounds was opened in June, 1897. Hills made a speech where he pointed out that it had "the largest cycle track in London where they would hold such monster meetings that the attention of the Metropolis would be called to the Thames Ironworks".

The site had been chosen because it was planned to build Manor Road railway station close to the stadium. Unfortunately the project was delayed and it was not finished until four years later. This meant that attendances at the ground were much lower than expected.

Season tickets for the 1897-98 were fixed at 5 shillings (25p). Tickets for individual matches cost 4d. However, attendances at games were very disappointing. Only 200 people saw the first game against Northfleet. This is not surprising when you compare this with the price of other forms of entertainment. It usually cost only 3d. to visit the musical hall or the cinema. It has to be remembered that at this time skilled tradesmen usually received less than £2 a week.

As Dave Russell points out in Football and the English: A Social History of Association Football in England (1997): "in terms of social class, crowds at Football League matches were predominantly drawn from the skilled working and lower-middle classes... Social groups below that level were largely excluded by the admission price." Russell adds "the Football League, quite possibly in a deliberate attempt to limit the access of poorer (and this supposedly "rowdier") supporters, raised the minimum adult male admission price to 6d".

In the 1899-1900 West Ham United was promoted to the top division of the Southern League and it was decided to increase season ticket prices. It was now 10s. 6d (52.5p) for the grandstand and 7s. 6d. (37.5p) for the rest of the ground. The first home game was against Chatham. The attendance of 1,000 was lower than most games the previous season and was probably a reaction to the price rise. However, for a FA Cup game against local rivals, Millwall, an estimated 13,000 people turned up to see the game.

The most important figure in the design of football stadiums was Archibald Leitch. In 1899 he was commissioned to build Ibrox Park, the new home ground of Rangers. The new stadium comprised large wooden terraces and a stand accommodating some 4,500 spectators. However, people began to question Leitch's safety features when on 5th April, 1902, when 25 people were killed and 517 injured as part of the west terracing collapsed during the annual international game with England.

Despite this disaster Archibald Leitch was commissioned to build other football grounds. In 1909 John Henry Davies, the chairman of Manchester United, decided to loan the club £60,000 in order that they could build a new stadium with an 80,000 capacity. The Old Trafford ground featured seating in the south stand under cover, while the remaining three stands were left as terraces and uncovered. When it was completed the stadium had the largest grandstand in the Football League. It also had a gymnasium, massage room, plunge baths, bars, lifts and tearooms.

The Empire Stadium at Wembley was built by Robert McAlpine for the British Empire Exhibition of 1923, at a cost of £750,000. It was originally intended intended to be demolished at the end of the Exhibition. However, it was later decided to keep the building to host football matches. The first match at Wembley, the 1923 FA Cup Final between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, took place only four days after the stadium was completed.

The Empire Stadium had a capacity of 125,000 and so the Football Association did not consider making it an all-ticket match. After all, both teams only had an average attendance of around 20,000 for league games. However, it was rare for a club from London to make the final of the FA Cup and supporters of other clubs in the city saw it as a North v South game. It is estimated that 300,000 people attempted to get into the ground. Over a thousand people were injured getting in and out of the stadium.


STADIUM HISTORY IN TAMPA

There is only one stadium in the country where you will find a $3 Million, 103 foot replica pirate ship located beyond the north endzone in a 19th century Pirate village, better known as "Buccaneer Cove". If you guessed Raymond James Stadium you are correct, however, prior its $168.5 million makeover, the stadium had a very humble begining

NOVEMBER 4, 1967: TAMPA STADIUM DEDICATED – Tennessee defeats the University of Tampa, 38-0 in the first contest played in the facility. The 46,700-seat stadium costs $4.1 million to build.
AUGUST 10, 1968: FIRST GAME IN TAMPA STADIUM – Washington defeats Atlanta 16-14 in a pre-season match before a crowd of 42,000 in first NFL action at new stadium.
APRIL 21, 1975: STADIUM LEASE APPROVED – The Tampa Sports Authority unanimously approves a 30-year lease agreement with the Buccaneers for use of Tampa Stadium. Three days later, the Tampa City Council votes 6-1 to approve the lease and expansion to 72,000 seats.
JULY 9, 1975: STADIUM EXPANSION BEGINS – Ground is broken for the expansion of Tampa Stadium, financed by the sale of $13 million in bonds by the Tampa Sports Authority.

Tampa Stadium "The Big Sombrero" Houlihan's Stadium

Tampa Stadium (nicknamed The Big Sombrero and briefly known as Houlihan's Stadium) was a large open-air stadium (maximum capacity about 74,000) located in Tampa, Florida. It opened in 1967, was significantly expanded in 1974–75, and was demolished in 1999. The facility is most closely associated with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League, who played there from their establishment in 1976 until 1997. It also hosted two Super Bowls, in 1984 and 1991.

Besides the Buccaneerss, Tampa Stadium was home to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the original North American Soccer League, the Tampa Bay Bandits of the United States Football League, the Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer, and the college football programs of the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida. It also hosted many large concerts, and for a time, it held the record for the largest audience to ever see a single artist when a crowd of almost 57,000 witnessed a Led Zeppelin show in the facility in 1973.

Pre-History & Construction

The land on which Tampa Stadium was situated had been the perimeter of Drew Field, a World War II-era airfield which was the precursor to Tampa International Airport. In 1949, the city of Tampa bought a 720-acre grassy parcel between the airport and West Tampa from the federal government with the idea of eventually building a community sports complex. Al Lopez Field was the first phase of the project, opening in 1955.

By the early 1960s, Tampa's civic leaders were interested in attracting a National Football League team to the area. Several well-attended NFL exhibition games were held at Phillips Field near downtown, but the venue was too small to support a professional football franchise. So with the encouragement of NFL officials, the city decided to build a larger facility which could be used by the University of Tampa's football team in the short term and could be expanded for use by a theoretical pro team in the future.

Construction of Tampa Stadium began in the fall of 1966 directly adjacent to Al Lopez Field, which was by then the home of the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League and the spring training home of the Cincinnati Reds. Even though it contained separate football and baseball venues plus the Reds' training grounds, the lot purchased in 1949 was still large enough to allow for ample parking in the open land surrounding both facilities.

When it opened in 1967, Tampa Stadium consisted of a matching pair of large arch-shaped concrete grandstands with open endzones. The seating consisted of long, backless aluminum benches that were accessed via short tunnels (vomitoriums) which connected the seating area to wide, open concourses at the rear of the grandstands. The benches were arranged in two large tiers divided by a horizontal walkway about halfway up the grandstands. The slope of the grandstands was relatively steep, giving every seat a direct and unobstructed view of the field. The official capacity was 46,481, though temporary bleachers could be placed in one or both endzones if needed.

Playing Surface

Over the lifetime of Tampa Stadium, the natural grass turf consisted of several varieties of Bermuda grass, most notably Tifway 419. The playing surface was consistently one of the best in the NFL, and was regularly named a players' favorite in surveys conducted by the National Football League Players Association.

Tampa Stadium was built almost exclusively of concrete. Throughout its existence, exterior walls were painted light tan or white or left as bare concrete, as were the flooring surfaces. Seating consisted of long aluminum benches, and there was no roof or overhang of any kind over the field or seating areas.

While the stadium's minimalist design allowed for very good sight lines, it also exposed both spectators and players to the full brunt of Tampa's subtropical climate. This was especially true after the stadium was fully enclosed for the Bucs' 1976 inaugural season, cutting off breezes which had flowed through the open endzones. While fans could retreat under the grandstands to the shade of the wide concourses where concessions and restrooms were located, players and personnel on the field had no such recourse. Cooling equipment was usually placed near the sideline benches. The Buccaneers were also allowed to wear their white jerseys at home, forcing their opponents to suffer in their darker (and hotter) jerseys. During the summer and early autumn, events in the stadium were often scheduled in the evening hours to avoid the often oppressive afternoon heat and humidity. In another nod to local weather, the natural grass playing surface was highly crowned to provide rapid drainage during Tampa's intense thunderstorms, with the sidelines almost 18 inches lower than the center of the field.

Expansions & Renovations

Tampa Stadium Capacity

Years ---------- Official Capacity
1967–1975 ----- 46,481
1976–1978 ----- 71,951
1979–1981 ----- 72,126
1982–1984 ----- 72,812
1985–1988 ----- 74,315
1989–1992 ----- 74,296
1993–1998 ----- 74,301

Tampa Stadium underwent an extensive expansion project in 1974–1975 after the city was awarded an NFL expansion team. Over 27,000 seats were added by completely enclosing the open end zones, making the venue one of the largest in the NFL with a capacity of 71,908. The resulting arena was not in the shape of a simple bowl. It was highest at the center of the two sideline grandstands and gently sloped downward to a rounded corner where it met the new sections, which were about half as tall. Much later, the stadium was dubbed "The Big Sombrero" by ESPN's Chris Berman for the unique undulating hat / wave shape created along the top of the stadium by the 1975 additions.

The last major renovation took place in the early 1980s when, in preparation for its first Super Bowl in January 1984, the press box atop the west grandstand was updated and a large suite of luxury boxes was added atop the east grandstand. This configuration gave the facility its maximum seating capacity of 74,301.

For the 1990 season, large flagpoles were mounted on the upper rim of the stadium as part of a stadium update that included the addition of a JumboTron screen in the south end zone and smaller scoreboards above the field-level tunnels in two corners of the stadium. The poles were used to fly large flags for each of the NFL's teams until 1997, when the Buccaneers adopted a uniform redesign featuring a red flag on their helmets. Large versions of the flag were hoisted on the stadium's flagpoles when the Buccaneers penetrated their opponents' 20-yard line. The franchise continued this practice when it moved to Raymond James Stadium next door a year later.

Sporting History

First Stadium Tenants

University of Tampa Spartans

Tampa Stadium was completed just in time to host its first sporting event – a football game between the University of Tampa Spartans and the #3 ranked University of Tennessee Volunteers on November 4, 1967. While the Spartans lost that game 38-0, they would enjoy later success in their new home, moving up to Division I football in 1971 and sending several players to the NFL, including Freddie Solomon and John Matuszak. However, university officials were unsure of continued community support after Tampa was awarded an NFL expansion franchise. "Tampa U" president B. D. Owens ended the football program after the 1974 season, saying that the school would face bankruptcy if it had to subsidize the sport.

Tampa Bay Rowdies

The Tampa Bay Rowdies were the stadium's first professional tenant, starting play in 1975 and winning their only (outdoor) championship in their inaugural season. (The team also won several indoor soccer championships playing at the Bayfront Center across Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg.)

The Rowdies played their home games in Tampa Stadium every summer until the original North American Soccer League disbanded in 1984. Subsequently, the Rowdies continued on, first as an independent team, then in other leagues (ASL, APSL) and used the stadium every year through 1990. In 1991 and 1992 they moved across town to the smaller USF Soccer Stadium, before returning to Tampa Stadium in 1993 for their final season of play in the APSL.

NFL Expansion Exhibition Games

Looking to showcase the city's new facility for the NFL, community leaders arranged for several exhibition games in Tampa Stadium in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first such game featured the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins in August 1968 and drew a near-sellout crowd. Eleven more games were held in the following seasons with similarly enthusiastic crowds, including three featuring the Baltimore Colts in 1972, when the team trained in Tampa during the NFL preseason.

These preseason games gave NFL owners and officials ample opportunity to assess the Tampa Bay area and the stadium, and on April 24, 1974, Tampa was awarded an NFL expansion team to begin play in the 1976 season.

Tampa Bay BUCCANEERS

The Buccaneers' first regular season home game was held on September 19, 1976, when the Bucs lost to the San Diego Chargers 23-0. That would become a trend, as the team began their existence with an NFL-record 26-game losing streak. They would not win a game on their home field until defeating the St. Louis Cardinals on the last game of the following season, December 18, 1977. Jubilant fans swarmed the Tampa Stadium turf and tore down the goal posts.

The Buccaneers had improved enough by the 1979 season to host the NFC Championship Game, which they lost 9-0 to the Los Angeles Rams. The Bucs played 18 additional seasons in the facility but struggled through most of them. They would only host one more playoff game on their original home turf: an NFC Wild Card Game vs. the Detroit Lions on December 28, 1997, which they won 20-10. This would be the last game the team ever played in Tampa Stadium, as they moved next door to Raymond James Stadium in 1998.

Tampa Stadium Krewe of Honor

In 1991, the organization initiated the "Krewe of Honor", which featured a mural of the first class of three members. Quarterback Doug Williams was inducted September 6, 1992 and owner Hugh Culverhouse on September 5, 1993. No additional members were added before Tampa Stadium was closed and demolished.

"Houlihan's Stadium"

Malcolm Glazer also acquired naming rights to Tampa Stadium when he purchased the Buccaneers in 1995. In October of that year, he had the Houlihan's restaurant chain, another business in his portfolio, pay the Bucs $10 million for those rights. This resulted in the official name of the facility being changed to "Houlihan's Stadium" in 1996 and in Glazer being sued by Houlihan's stockholders, who were not happy about purchasing stadium naming rights in an area in which the chain had no restaurants.

Other Tenants & Events

Tampa Stadium was the home field for several additional teams and hosted a wide variety of events during its lifetime.

Home Teams

Tampa Bay Bandits

From 1983 to 1985, one of the twelve original USFL franchises, were the stadium's third professional tenant. The Bandits enjoyed strong ticket sales and fan support and were one of only two USFL teams (the Birmingham Stallions being the other) to stay in their original city and stadium and have the same head coach (former Florida Gators and Bucs quarterback Steve Spurrier) for the league's three seasons. The Bandits folded along with the USFL after the 1985 season.

The University of South Florida Bulls Football

The team played its initial season at the stadium in 1997, becoming the stadium's second and final collegiate tenant. The Bulls would play the final football game at the stadium on September 12, 1998, defeating Valparaiso 51-0 before moving to Raymond James Stadium for their next home game on October 3, 1998.

Tampa Bay Bandits

Major League Soccer placed one of its original teams in Tampa in 1996. The Tampa Bay Mutiny were the stadium's fourth and final professional tenant. The Mutiny used the stadium as their home field for their first three seasons, and moved to Raymond James Stadium in 1999. They hosted the last sporting event at the stadium on September 13, 1998, when they defeated the New York MetroStars 2-1 in front of 27,957 people.

Sporting Events

Demolition of Stadium

Upon buying the Buccaneers in 1995, new owner Malcolm Glazer declared that Tampa Stadium was inadequate and threatened to move the franchise to another city unless a new stadium was built at taxpayers' expense. To accommodate these demands, Hillsborough County raised local sales taxes and built Raymond James Stadium just south of Tampa Stadium in 1997–98.

Demolition of Tampa Stadium proceeded soon after the Tampa Bay Mutiny's final home game on September 13, 1998. Wrecking balls and long reach excavators were used for much of the process. The last portion of the stadium (the east side luxury boxes built for the stadium's first Super Bowl), was imploded on April 11, 1999. The land was then cleared and converted into a parking lot. Part of that demolition was featured in a 1999 Modern Marvels episode entitled "Demolition".

Raymond James Stadium


Raymond James Stadium: also known as the "Ray Jay", and is home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL) as well as the NCAA's South Florida Bulls football team. The stadium seats 65,890, and is expandable to 75,000 for special events. The stadium also hosts the annual Outback Bowl on New Year's Day and the Monster Jam tour for monster trucks holds an event at the stadium.

Raymond James Stadium hosted Super Bowls XXXV and XLIII, as well as the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship.

History

Raymond James Stadium was built to replace Houlihan's Stadium at the demand of the new Bucs owner Malcolm Glazer. It is located adjacent to the site of the old stadium on the former location of Al Lopez Field, a minor-league baseball stadium that had been demolished in 1989. Once completed, the final cost of the new stadium was $168.5 million, with the entire cost publicly financed.

It was known as Tampa Community Stadium during construction, but the naming rights were bought for US$32.5 million for a 13–year deal by St. Petersburg-based Raymond James Financial in June 1998. On April 27, 2006, an extension was signed to maintain naming rights through 2015. In May 2016 the Buccaneers announced that the naming rights were extended an additional 12 years ensuring that Raymond James Financial's name will continue to appear through 2028.

The stadium officially opened on September 21, 1998, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Chicago Bears, 27–15. The stadium hosted its first soccer game on March 20, 1999, when the Tampa Bay Mutiny lost to D.C. United, 5–2.

The stadium was selected to host the ACC Championship Game in 2008 and 2009.

The stadium is home field for the University of South Florida Bulls of the American Athletic Conference. The team's record crowd at Raymond James Stadium is 69,383, on September 29, 2012, when the Bulls – during their worst season ever – played a non-conference game against the popular Florida State University Seminoles from the powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time.

The largest crowd ever recorded in Raymond James Stadium came on January 9, 2017 as the stadium hosted the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship. 74,512 people were in attendance.

Through to the 2009 season, every Buccaneers game at Raymond James Stadium sold out. In 2010, no home game achieved a ticket sell out, so none could be broadcast on local television. The streak carried over until week four of the 2011 season, when it sold enough tickets for its Monday night game with the Indianapolis Colts on October 3 to avoid a local blackout.

The stadium was also home to the former Tampa Bay Mutiny of Major League Soccer and continues to periodically host other soccer matches due to its accommodating field dimensions. For example, on June 8, 2012, it hosted the United States men's national soccer team's opening qualifying match against Antigua and Barbuda for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which the United States won 3-1.

Features

One of the most recognizable features of the stadium is a 103-foot (31 m), 43-ton steel-and-concrete replica pirate ship, which fires replica cannons each time the Bucs score points or enter the other team's red zone. The cannon fires once for each point scored. In addition, when the Buccaneers enter their opponent's red zone, stadium hosts hoist team flags around the perimeter of the upper deck. During various times throughout the game, the song "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" is played on the stadium public address system (taken from Pirates of the Caribbean), which signals patrons on board the ship to throw beads, t–shirts, and other free prizes to the people below. The segment is also known as a "Mini Gasparilla" to most fans. An animated parrot sits on the stern of the pirate ship. Controlled by radio and remote control, the parrot picks fans out of the crowd and talks to those passing by.

During Super Bowl XXXV on CBS, the pregame, halftime, and post-game desk reporting took place from aboard the pirate ship. NBC's Super Bowl XLIII and ESPN's 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship coverage also emanated from the ship.

The two "Buc Vision" 2,200-square-foot (200 m2) Daktronics video displays were among the largest in the league when they were built and in 2016 they were replaced with a 9,600-square foot, high-definition video board in both end zones. 'Buccaneer Cove' features a weathered, two–story fishing village facade, housing stadium concessions and restrooms. All areas of the stadium are ADA compliant.

Temporary bleachers were erected in the end zones for Super Bowl XXXV, which set a record stadium attendance of 71,921. The stadium attendance record has since been surpassed by the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship, which also made use of temporary seating.

In 2003, the corner billboards in the stadium were replaced with rotating trilon billboards and these were replaced in 2016 with new high visibility displays.

Raymond James Stadium boasts the second-best turf in the NFL, according to a 2009 biannual players' survey.

In early 2016, the stadium was given an extensive facelift. The most notable improvement was the replacement of the 2,200-square-foot (200 m2) video displays with state of the art, high visibility 9,600-square-foot (890 m2) video displays in both the north and south end zones along with the addition of a new 2,300-square-foot (210 m2) video tower in each corner. All together, the video displays cover more than 28,000-square-foot (2,600 m2), making Raymond James Stadium the third-largest video displays in the NFL. The original sound system and the stadium's luxury boxes were also upgraded. A second round of improvements are planned for after the 2016 season is complete.

Nicknames

The stadium is referred to as "Ray Jay" or "The New Sombrero", a spinoff from "The Big Sombrero", the nickname of Houlihan's Stadium. Somewhat derisively, it has been occasionally referred to as "the CITS", a name coined by long-time local sportscaster Chris Thomas which stands for "Community Investment Tax Stadium", referring to the fact that the stadium was entirely financed by local taxpayers.


History of Football Stadiums - History

Yankee Stadium, the venerable "House that Ruth Built" that stood for 85 years before being re-opened in 2010, has been the host to some of the most memorable collegiate and professional football games in gridiron history, adding to the rich history of the Stadium. Since Oct. 20, 1923, with Syracuse's 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh, there have been 10 historic moments that are still discussed and reminisced about to this day.

1. The Greatest Game Ever Played
The NFL Championship Game on Dec. 28, 1958, between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts was the first NFL game to go into sudden death overtime. The Colts won, 23-17, in what is widely-regarded as "The Greatest Game Ever Played." A national television audience saw Colts receiver Raymond Berry catch 12 passes (a championship game record) for 178 yards and a score in a game that signaled the beginning of the NFL's surge in popularity.


2. Winning one for the Gipper
George "The Gipper" Gipp was a first-team All-American at Notre Dame before dying at the age of 25 of streptococcal throat infection just days after leading Notre Dame to a win over Northwestern. While on his hospital bed he received a visit from coach Knute Rockne before a Nov. 10, 1928, showdown against Army. At halftime of a scoreless game, Rockne urged his squad to win it for Gipp, inspiring the Irish to a 12-6 win at Yankee Stadium.


3. The Tackle
Second-ranked Notre Dame and top-ranked Army played perhaps the most thrilling contest of their historic rivalry on November 9, 1946 at Yankee Stadium, a 0-0 tie made legendary by John Lujack's well-chronicled saving tackle of Cadet star running back Doc Blanchard late in the game.


4. The Kick
Pat Summerall's 49-yard field goal in a swirling snowstorm on December 14, 1958 gave the Giants a 13-10 win over the Cleveland Browns to force a playoff for the NFL East crown. Summerall atoned for a missed 31-yard attempt with 4 minutes remaining. The following week, New York defeated Cleveland, 10-0, to advance to the 1958 NFL Championship Game.


5. On Ice
The Giants romped over the Chicago Bears, 47-7, on December 30, 1956 to win the NFL championship and cap their first season at Yankee Stadium. The game is famous for being played on an icy field in which the Giants wore sneakers instead of cleats, shades of 22 years earlier when the Giants also wore sneakers to play on an icy Polo Grounds in what became known as "The Sneakers Game."


6. Seventh Heaven
In 1961 the Giants acquired quarterback Y.A. Tittle from the 49ers for guard Lou Cordileone. Tittle went on to lead the Giants to three straight Eastern Division titles. En route, he threw seven touchdown passes to lead the Giants to a 49-34 win over the Redskins on Oct. 28.


7. Lombardi's low point
One member of the famed Seven Blocks of Granite was future Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi, who later in the 1936 season endured what he called "the most devastating loss of my life." Needing one win for a Rose Bowl berth, the Rams fell to NYU, 7-6, on a muddy Yankee Stadium field on Thanksgiving Day, dropping from No. 3 to No. 15 in the final AP rankings.


8. Kramer's Kicks
Guard Jerry Kramer's three field goals led the Packers to a 16-7 win over the Giants in what proved to be Yankee Stadium's final NFL Championship Game on December 30, 1962. A crowd of 64,892 attended a game played in 13 degree temperatures with 40 miles per hour winds.


9. Gotham's Swan Song
Nebraska defeated Miami, 36-34, on December 15, 1962 behind MVP George Mira's 321 passing yards and two touchdowns. Only 6,166 attended Yankee Stadium to brave the bitter 14-degree temperature in what was the final Gotham Bowl ever played.


10. The Final Game
The final Whitney M. Young Urban League classic on September 12, 1987 was also the last football game ever played at the old Yankee Stadium. Central State University of Ohio defeated Grambling, 37-21. Afterwards, Grambling coach Eddie Robinson said, "They just came to play. We didn't."

Full Season Plan

A Full Season Plan ensures you a ticket to all regular-season games at Yankee Stadium and permits you to license the same seat location for all Yankees home games during the postseason. In addition to the great benefits available for all Season Ticket Licensees, you will automatically become a member of the New York Yankees Legacy Club for Full Season Ticket Licensees and enjoy the steepest price discounts of any plan offered.

Full Season Plans have been prorated to 63 games.

Premium locations are noted as the color on the purchase page.

FULL SEASON PLAN: Buy Tickets Buy Legends Suite Tickets

41-Game plan

The 41-Game Plan consists of Opening Day plus every other game thereafter for a total of 41 regular-season games. In addition to the great benefits available for all Season Ticket Licensees, you will automatically become a member of the New York Yankees Legacy Club for 41- and 20-Game Plan Licensees. Licensees of the 41-Game Plan will have the opportunity to license the same seat location for approximately half of the home games scheduled to be played at Yankee Stadium during the postseason. A schedule with complete postseason home game information will be available online at yankees.com.

41-Game Plans have been prorated to 32 games.

Premium locations are noted as the color on the purchase page.

41-GAME PLAN: Buy Tickets Buy Legends Suite Tickets

20-Game plans

Two 20-Game Plan options, each consisting of the same seats for all 20 games are available. In addition to the great benefits available for all Season Ticket Licensees, you will automatically become a member of the New York Yankees Legacy Club for 41- and 20-Game Plan Licensees. Licensees of a 20-Game Plan will have the opportunity to license the same seat location for approximately one quarter of all home games scheduled to be played at Yankee Stadium during the postseason. A schedule with complete postseason home game information will be available online at yankees.com.

20-Game Plan #1 has been prorated to 15 games.

20-Game Plan #2 has been prorated to 16 games.

Premium locations are noted as the color on the purchase page.


Michigan Stadium

Michigan's football Stadium was completed in the fall of 1927 and formed one of the most satisfactory and practical football fields in existence. Its designation was in reality a misnomer since it was of the amphitheater or bowl type of construction, rising only slightly above the ground level on the east side.

The site of the structure was decided upon in the spring of 1926, and plans for construction were made during the following summer. Increased interest in the record of Michigan's football team, resulting at almost every game in an attendance much larger than the old stands on Ferry Field were able to accommodate, eventually led the Board in Control of Athletics to consider expansion of the University's athletic facilities. As the result of a report presented in January, 1926, by a University committee under the chairmanship of Professor Edmund E. Day, later president of Cornell University, a plan was developed for the reorganization and expansion of the athletic facilities of the University. Thus, the Stadium was only one part of a broader program which included the construction of the Intramural Sports Building, the Women's Athletic Building, the development of the University Golf Course, and the Women's Athletic Field.

To finance this extensive program, bonds were sold to alumni and to friends of the University, giving them preferred seats at all games for a period of years, these bonds to be retired progressively as the receipts warranted. The total improvements cost amounted to more than $2,000,000, of which the cost of the Stadium represented $1,183,545.

The site for the Stadium was a matter of some discussion, but eventually property, including some sixteen acres and 119 city lots, was acquired on South Main Street just across the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks from Ferry Field. This area was purchased by the Board in Control of Athletics for $239,000, including the cost of some lots which were taken under condemnation proceedings. The right of the Board in Control of Athletics to acquire land by this means was upheld by the state Supreme Court during the course of the negotiations. The site formed a gentle slope rising from the valley of the old Allen's Creek near the Ann Arbor Railroad to the level of South Main Street.

In considering plans for the Stadium it had been decided, in accordance with the recommendation of the Day committee, to make it a place to hold football games under the most favorable circumstances, with no emphasis upon monumental construction. Accordingly, a bowl type of structure was chosen which took advantage of the natural characteristics of the terrain so that the Stadium rested in the soil of the hillside instead of being enclosed within high concrete walls. The structure was above ground only on the east side, the only wall being on this side on the west the top seats were level with the street, with some seventy rows of seats, seating 85,753 originally, stretching down to the playing field. A series of steps on either side of the main entrance led to a wide areaway for the players.

The architects, instead of designing the structure in the form of a perfect ellipse, as in the Yale Bowl, provided for sides parallel to the playing field, bringing the spectators much closer to the side lines. This feature alone — the proximity of the seats to the playing field — made Michigan's Stadium one of the most satisfactory in this country. The Stadium was 756 feet long and 586 feet wide and included fifteen and one-half acres.

The strategically placed entrances and exits around the entire upper edge and in the center of the east side made it possible for crowds to disperse rapidly in fact, the exact time for emptying the Stadium was thirteen minutes. To care for the throngs which came to Ann Arbor on football days, parking facilities were supplied on all sides of the Stadium, and special city traffic regulations permitted street parking during the games. Locker and shower room facilities for home and visiting teams were provided under the east side of the stands. A press box was erected over the west side of the Stadium. It afforded room for five radio booths and 250 newspaper correspondents. The box was designed by Bernard L. Green (1891e) of the Osborn Engineering Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, and was built by James Leck and Company, of Minneapolis, general contractors. A new press box was built later.

In 1949-50 additional steel seats were erected at the top of the Stadium at a cost of $304,340, making the total seating capacity 97,231.

Wilfred Shaw (The University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey, p. 1584)


Contents

Overall Rank Stadium Town / City Capacity Team League (Tier) Rank within League Notes
1 Wembley Stadium London 90,000 [2] England national football team n/a (national stadium) n/a
2 Old Trafford Manchester 75,635 [3] Manchester United Premier League 1
3 Tottenham Hotspur Stadium London 62,850 [4] Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 2
4 Emirates Stadium London 60,704 [5] Arsenal Premier League 3
5 London Stadium London 60,000 [6] West Ham United Premier League 4 Previously known as the Olympic Stadium. Regulated capacity reduced from 66,000 to 60,000.
6 City of Manchester Stadium Manchester 55,097 [7] Manchester City Premier League 5 Commercially known as the Etihad Stadium.
7 Anfield Liverpool 54,074 [8] Liverpool Premier League 6
8 St James' Park Newcastle upon Tyne 52,354 [9] Newcastle United Premier League 7
9 Stadium of Light Sunderland 49,000 [10] Sunderland League One 1
10 Villa Park Birmingham 42,682 [11] Aston Villa Premier League 8
11 Stamford Bridge London 41,631 [12] Chelsea Premier League 9
12 Hillsborough Stadium Sheffield 39,732 [13] Sheffield Wednesday League One 1
13 Goodison Park Liverpool 39,414 [14] Everton Premier League 10
14 Elland Road Leeds 37,890 [15] Leeds United Premier League 11 Capacity reduced from 40,296 [16] to 37,890 [17] during 2010/2011 season
15 Riverside Stadium Middlesbrough 34,000 [13] Middlesbrough Championship 2
16 Pride Park Stadium Derby 33,597 [13] Derby County Championship 3
17 Bramall Lane Sheffield 32,702 [18] Sheffield United Premier League 12
18 Coventry Building Society Arena Coventry 32,609 [13] Coventry City Championship 4
18 St Mary's Stadium Southampton 32,505 [19] Southampton Premier League 13
19 King Power Stadium Leicester 32,312 [20] Leicester City Premier League 14 Formerly known as the Walkers Stadium.
20 Molineux Wolverhampton 32,050 [13] Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League 15
21 Ewood Park Blackburn 31,367 [13] Blackburn Rovers Championship 4
22 Falmer Stadium Brighton 30,750 [13] Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League 16 Commercially known as The American Express Community Stadium.
23 Stadium MK Milton Keynes 30,500 [13] Milton Keynes Dons League One 2
24 City Ground Nottingham 30,445 [21] Nottingham Forest Championship 5
25 Portman Road Ipswich 30,311 [13] Ipswich Town League One 3
26 bet365 Stadium Stoke-on-Trent 30,089 [22] Stoke City Championship 6 Formerly known as the Britannia Stadium.
27 St Andrew's Birmingham 29,409 [23] Birmingham City Championship 7 Shared with Coventry City of Championship
28 University of Bolton Stadium Bolton 28,723 [13] Bolton Wanderers League Two 1 Formerly known as the Reebok Stadium.
29 Carrow Road Norwich 27,244 [24] Norwich City Championship 8
30 The Valley London 27,111 [13] Charlton Athletic League One 4
31 The Hawthorns West Bromwich 27,002 [25] West Bromwich Albion Premier League 17
32 Ashton Gate Stadium Bristol 27,000 [26] Bristol City Championship 9 Expansion completed ahead of the 2016/17 season.
33 Selhurst Park London 26,125 Crystal Palace Premier League 18
34 Craven Cottage London 25,700 [13] Fulham Premier League 19
35 KCOM Stadium Hull 25,400 [13] Hull City League One 5 Shared with Super League team Hull F.C.

Formerly known as the KC Stadium.

Following crowd troubles in the 1980s, and regulations imposed after the Taylor Report, several English league stadiums have been built or completely redeveloped in the last few years. Prior to 1988, however, the last newly built Football League ground in England was Roots Hall, Southend, which was opened in 1955.

Stadiums which are currently in development include:

The club are hopeful that building work will commence at the end of the 2019–20 season. The new, modern, state-of-the-art structure will see The City Ground's capacity become the highest in the East Midlands, reaching 38,000 after completion. [120]


History of Football Stadiums - History

Stadium History

The former South Park Commission (the Commission merged with 22 other park systems to establish the Chicago Park District in 1934) hired Chicago architects Holibird and Roche in 1919 to design a stadium that would serve as a showcase “for events and a playground for the people.” On October 9, 1924, the Grant Park Municipal Stadium premiered and one year later, at the request of the Chicago Gold Star Mothers, the stadium was renamed Soldier Field.

It was known as one of the great venues during the "Golden Age of Sports" and one of Chicago's most famous landmarks. Crowds in excess of 100,000 were commonplace, marked by several memorable events including the 1926 Army-Navy game and the epic 1927 Jack Dempsey/Gene Tunney heavyweight rematch featuring the controversial "long count". In 1944, 150,000 spectators attended a wartime visit by President Franklin Roosevelt and thousands turned out to hear evangelist Billy Graham in 1962. Soldier Field is also the birthplace of the first Special Olympic Games in 1968. College and Professional football, rock concerts, festivals, rodeos, stock-car races, and even a skiing/toboggan event have called Soldier Field home. The Chicago Bears moved from Wrigley Field and began using the facility in 1971 and played their first game in the renovated Soldier Field on September 29, 2003.

Soldier Field History

1919 - Plans for the stadium began in 1919, when Holibird and Roche won an architectural competition to build the stadium as a memorial to American soldiers who died in wars.

1922 – 1928 - The stadium was constructed by the South Park Commission (which later merged with other park commissions to become the Chicago Park District in 1934.) Soldier Field is a monument to the times and great sports places typical of the “Golden Age of Sports” and is one of few such stadiums still standing. Soldier Field was built in three stages between 1922 and 1939 at a total cost $13 million.

Soldier Field, when completed, contained 74,280 permanent bleacher seats made of fir planking. An additional 30,000 spectator temporary bleacher seats could be placed along the interior of the field, upper promenades and on the large open terrace beyond the north end zone.

October 9, 1924 – The official opening day – which coincided with the 53rd anniversary of the Chicago Fire—of the Municipal Grant Park Stadium. Within a year it was renamed Soldier Field.

The first event held in Soldier Field was a police meet featuring 1,000 police athletes and reportedly drew 90,000 spectators. Crowds in excess of 100,000 became commonplace in the years that followed, marked by several memorable sporting events.

November 22, 1924 – First football game held at the Municipal Grant Park Stadium was Notre Dame (13) v. Northwestern (6).

November 11, 1925 – The Municipal Grant Park Stadium is officially renamed Soldier Field at the urging of Chicago’s Gold Star Mothers.

November 27, 1926 – Soldier Field was officially dedicated in front of a crowd of 110,000 during the Army v. Navy game. The game ended in a 21-21 tie.

September 23, 1927 - The epic Jack Dempsey/Gene Tunney heavyweight rematch featuring the controversial long count with 104,000 watching. Dempsey knocked down Tunney and Dempsey went to the wrong corner. The referee directed him to the right corner, and five seconds passed before he started counting out Tunney. Tunney, the champ, got up at nine, which should have been 14, and went on to beat Dempsey.

1927 – The largest crowd to watch collegiate football was 123,000 to see Notre Dame take on Southern California.

1937 – The largest crowd to watch a high school football game took place at Soldier Field with an estimated 115,000 watching the Austin v. Leo High School Prep Bowl football game.

1944 - 150,000 spectators attended a wartime visit by President Franklin Roosevelt.

1948 – Chicago Park District engineers won an award at the 1948 International Lighting Expo for their design of a stadium lighting system featuring 5,000 watt flood lights that could be arranged in pre-set patterns by a three man crew.

1954 – 260,000 came to Soldier Field for a Catholic celebration entitled the Eucharistic Congress.

1962 - 116,000 turned out to hear evangelist Billy Graham.

September 19, 1971 - The Chicago Bears began using the facility as a regular season home and capacity was cut to 57,000 to bring season ticket holders closer to the field. Chicago defeats the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-15 before capacity crowd of 55,701 in the Bears’ first game since moving from Wrigley.

1978 – With the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Park District began to reconstruct the aging stadium with lights, playing surface, locker rooms, and rebuilding the stadiums’ plank-board style seating with chair back and armrests.

1981 – With renovations complete, Soldier Field could welcome 66,950 visitors.

September 1988 – Soldier Field converts turf from AstroTurf to Kentucky Bluegrass.

1994 – Soldier Field hosts the opening ceremonies of the 1994 World Cup soccer play, the first time the competition will by played on American shores.

2003 - Soldier Field completes a 20-month renovation that modernized the stadium and surrounding parkland for multi-purpose event use. The stadium grounds now host over 200 event usage days per year.

2011 - Soldier Field is awarded the status of LEED-EB from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Soldier Field is the first existing North American stadium to receive the award of LEED-EB Certification and the first NFL stadium to receive this prestigious award. LEED-EB stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Existing Building.

2014 - Soldier Field hosted the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team as they faced off against the USA Eagles on November 1, 2014 marking the All Blacks first match in the US since 1980. The All Blacks defeated the Eagles 74-6 to a sold-out crowd.

2015 - Soldier Field hosted the final concert performances by legendary American rock band the Grateful Dead on July 3rd, 4th and 5th in celebration of the band's 50 year history. More than 212,000 Deadheads rocked out at Soldier Field for the Fare Thee Well shows over the holiday weekend, shattering stadium attendance records.

2016 - Copa America Centenario, in celebrating their 100th-anniversary edition of the South American championships, selected Soldier Field to host four matches: Jamaica vs. Venezuela (June 5th, 2016), USA vs. Costa Rice (June 7th, 2016), Argentina vs. Panama (June 10th, 2016), and the Semi-Final between Chile and Colombia (June 22nd, 2016).

Interesting Facts About Soldier Field

Soldier Field has hosted rock concerts, thrill shows, rodeos, tractor and truck pulls, circuses, fireworks displays, stock car races, sunrise services, marching band concerts, open-air operas, skiing and toboggan events including a ski jump event from a 13-story platform.

The stadium’s underpinnings consist of 10,000 giant wood piling foundations driven an average depth of six stories through landfill to bedrock.

It hosted the first boxing event that drew a gate of over $2.5 million (Dempsey-Tunney, 1927), the first ski meet held in a stadium, and the all-time largest football crowd (123,000). The largest crowd for any event in Soldier Field was 260,000 on Sept. 8, 1954, for the religious Marian Year Tribute.


A brief history of football grounds

We might love them, hate them or take them for granted &ndash but how did we end up with the football stadiums? Renowned football architecture historian Simon Inglis investigates the journey from gated fields to big gates and big yields.

Turn on any televised coverage of football these days and you can bet that in between the action your screen will be filled with mesmerising images of stadiums (or ‘stadia’ if you must).

Swooping aerials. Shots of the stands. Glimpses into the dressing rooms. Digitised fly-through animations, even.

Stadiums are more centre-stage than ever before: in our minds, in our faces. And yet before the 1990s and the post-Hillsborough stadium revolution, very little media attention was paid to them at all, except when there were disasters or outbreaks of hooliganism, or if a documentary maker fell for the charms of the Kop at Anfield.

Before the 1990s and the post-Hillsborough stadium revolution, very little media attention was paid to them at all

Going back further, despite the existence throughout the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome of brilliantly designed stadiums and arenas (or ‘arenae’ if you must), when Association football was first codified in 1863, there was no such entity as a ‘football stadium’.

A field on which football was played, for sure, with a rail around the pitch and a tent in the corner for players and officials. At best, there might be a few bench seats or a timber stand, featuring what Americans would call ‘bleachers’ (wooden steps exposed to the elements). But little more. More often than not early clubs merely rented a field on a short lease, and set up their real headquarters in a pub.

The rental era: borrowing other sports’ stadiums

In fact, as the game grew in popularity, the only enclosed venues where football clubs might reasonably accommodate a decent crowd were long-established cricket or athletics grounds.

So from 1872&ndash92 all FA Cup finals took place at the Oval, the London home of Surrey County Cricket Club, with just one exception. That was in 1873, when the venue was Lillie Bridge, a cricket and athletics ground in west London, just next door to where another athletics ground would be laid out in 1877, by the name of Stamford Bridge. (Even after Chelsea took over the Bridge in 1905, the athletics track remained until the 1930s &ndash and the ends retained distinctive curves until the 1990s redevelopment.)

From 1872&ndash92 all FA Cup finals took place at the Oval, the London home of Surrey County Cricket Club, with just one exception

And when the 1886 final between Blackburn Rovers and West Brom needed a replay, in the absence of any decent club venue, the FA chose the Racecourse Ground in Derby. This, as its name suggests, lay in the middle of the town’s racecourse, but, confusingly, was also a cricket ground. Derby County played there until they moved in 1895 to… the Baseball Ground, which had been laid out six years earlier by a foundry owner who caught the baseball bug on a visit to the United States.

Even after the FA were booted out of the Oval by Surrey following the 1892 final &ndash by which time crowds had grown from 2,000 to 25,000 &ndash the best venue they could find for the 1893 final was an athletics ground in Fallowfield, Manchester. A new record crowd of some 45,000 was reported, but the afternoon was a debacle: fans broke in, and ticket holders couldn’t get to their seats.

A home of our own: the self-build era

What professional football needed was professionally designed and solidly built, tailor-made grounds. Three main factors facilitated this great leap forward, all during the period 1890-1914.

Firstly, clubs started to form themselves into limited liability companies. This allowed them to issue shares and raise the necessary capital to buy a home of their own.

Secondly, thanks to industrialisation, materials such as mass-produced steel and concrete were more available and affordable. At last clubs could start to build big.

In 1895 a new form of turnstile came onto the market: the Ellison ‘Rush Preventive’

Thirdly, basic though this might seem, in 1895 a new form of turnstile came onto the market. Manufactured in Salford and called the Ellison ‘Rush Preventive’, this simple new device allowed clubs to count and take money from every individual entering their ground, one by one, before releasing a barrier to let them enter, rather than relying on the old system of having to trust gatemen to collect money and then hand it over to the club.

The new turnstiles didn’t prevent fraud completely &ndash but once installed, clubs found that their revenues soared. And with more money in the bank, the better able and the more incentivised clubs were to develop their grounds along modern lines.

During this first wave emerged such famous grounds as Goodison Park (probably the most developed ground of the early 1890s), Villa Park (which had a cycle track around the pitch), and the three Glasgow giants Ibrox Park, Hampden Park and Celtic Park (which also staged cycling).

A grand plan or a beautiful mess?

Instrumental in helping to design several of these grounds was the Scottish engineer, Archibald Leitch, the world’s first specialist football architect. Leitch was also commissioned to lay out the original Highbury ground for Arsenal in 1913.

But the first British ground that appeared from the off to have a long-term masterplan (as is standard practice today), and offer the possibility of incremental expansion on a large unencumbered site, was Manchester United’s Old Trafford. Also designed by Leitch, this opened in 1910.

Not that many other clubs followed suit. Most still ended up on cramped sites, building a bit here and a bit there, never to a masterplan &ndash and only when funds allowed.

Some, as a result, evolved into a wonderful hodgepodge of stands, roofs and angles, oozing with character &ndash Craven Cottage, Molineux and St James’ Park to name but three.

Others were hardly more than open bowls, the emphasis being on capacity (large terraces, mostly uncovered), utilitarian materials (for cheapness) and minimal facilities (because the fans seemed to keep on coming, so why bother doing more?).

In redeveloping Highbury during the 1930s Arsenal broke out of that mould, building two spendid Art Deco stands with genuine architectural qualities. But not until the 1960s did other clubs see fit to follow.

Again Manchester United were at the fore, with their sleek 10,000-capacity United Road Stand in 1965. This featured British football’s first bespoke executive boxes, an idea borrowed from horse racing. The intention was to replace the other three stands with similar designs, linking them to create a uniform modern stadium.

Conservative or forward-thinking?

United’s new stand also had a cantilevered roof. That is, it was, seemingly miraculously, &ldquocolumn-free&rdquo. One measure of how conservative Britain was during the 20th Century is that it took until 1958 for the nation’s first cantilevered-roof stand at a football ground, in the steel town of Scunthorpe, followed by Sheffield Wednesday in 1961. This was some 40 or 50 years after such roofs had started appearing routinely in France, Germany and Italy.

British football’s unwillingness to invest in high-calibre facilities paid its toll

British football’s unwillingness to invest in high-calibre facilities paid its toll. First there was the disaster at Bolton in 1946 (33 dead), then Ibrox in 1971 (66), Bradford in 1985 (56) and Hillsborough in 1989 (96). Added to this toll was a weekly log of injuries, seldom reported (40 to 60 per match on the Kop alone).

When Lord Justice Taylor investigated the Hillsborough disaster, he told the press that his intention was not to prepare English football clubs for the 21st century but to drag them into the 20th.

Not everyone agreed with his main recommendation for all-seated stadiums. But no footballing nation in the world had such a poor safety record as did England.

Incidentally, what, you may ask, is the difference between a ‘ground’ and a ‘stadium’? Well according to this writer's own rule, a ‘stadium’ is designed as a whole, with a complete end product in mind &ndash whereas a ‘ground’ is a venue that is developed, bit by bit, over the years, with no masterplan at all.

Wembley is thus a genuine stadium. Anfield (and Villa Park, and countless others) are but grounds &ndash and some would say all the better for it.


Stadium History

The Jaguars' home stadium has undergone significant changes and upgrades in its 22-year history. But as many new buildings and designs have come on line around the NFL, Jacksonville is still able to boast one of the most fan-friendly and technologically-advanced stadiums in the league.

On August 18, 1995, when the Jacksonville Jaguars played their first home preseason game in their new stadium, it marked the first time in sports history that an expansion team played its first home game in its inaugural season in a new stadium or arena. In the short period of 19 and a half months, the old Gator Bowl was demolished and a new stadium arose on the shores of the St. Johns River. Just before the Jaguars kicked off their first regular season game on September 3, 1995, NBC broadcaster Don Criqui said, "There isn't a better football facility in America."

In its 10th year of operation, the stadium was the host site of Super Bowl XXXIX, the world's largest one-day sporting event. Known at that time as Alltel Stadium, the building underwent a $63 million renovation in preparation for Super Bowl XXXIX. Among the additions were the Terrace Suite, a 25,000-square-foot sports bar called the Bud Light Party Zone, a 20,000-square-foot Sky Patio, 20 new escalators and four new elevators.

Originally named Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the home of the Jaguars got a new name on the eve of the 2010 training camp, when EverBank Financial Corp. and the Jaguars introduced EverBank Field on July 27, 2010. One of the nation's largest privately-held bank holding companies, EverBank employs more than 2,200 workers and is headquartered in Jacksonville. The partnership included a five-year naming rights agreement, which was extended by another 10 years in 2014.

EverBank Field became the proud home of the world's largest in-stadium video boards in 2014. At 362 feet wide and 60 feet high, the two massive end zone displays are wider than the length of a football field and have set the standard for in-venue visual experience. Additional video boards and ribbon panels help enhance fans' in –stadium experience on game day.

In addition to the video boards, 2014 brought innovative changes to the north end zone. Christened FanDuelVille in 2015, the two-story, north end zone fan plaza is the ultimate home of fantasy football. The biggest party scene in professional sports also is home to the the Axalta Spas, an asset about which no other NFL stadium can boast. In the Florida sunshine, there's no better place for fans to cool off and cheer on the Jags.

The reimagining of EverBank Field continued in 2016 with a $90 million shared investment by the City of Jacksonville and the Jaguars. Phase 1 brought a complete overhaul of the Clubs, bringing new 50-yard-line patios to the NFL for the first time and a brand new south end zone tunnel to the start of the season. Phase 2 introduced a new 5,500 seat amphitheater and the Dream Finders Homes Flex Field to the downtown sports complex. Known as Daily's Place, the new venues are part the ambitious vision for the future of downtown Jacksonville as a world-class sports and entertainment destination.

On June 4, 2018, EverBank became TIAA Bank and the stadium was renamed to TIAA Bank Field.


History of Football Stadiums - History

The Silver Bowl was built in 1932 by a committee of Mount Carmel business men headed by Hal Grossman and other community leaders including: George Wardrop, Elmer Williams, Harold Schaefer, Harry Jones, Walter Levine, Charles Lucas, Herman Ludes, Dr. Charles Feifer, Albert Landis, Ray Williams, William Ruffing, Ira Roadarmel, and Hal Anthony.

The original stands, which seated 6,600, where constructed of wood. The 80 feet high steel light towers were erected for the opening game of the 1932 season. The lighting system was installed by a team of technicians from General Electric’s headquarters in Schenectady, New York. The team was so impressed with the facilities they boosted it was the most beautiful high school sports complex in existence and it would be the best lit high school stadium anywhere.

In the mid-1930’s, stands were constructed in both end zones and painted silver. The new bleachers gave the stadium a bowl-like appearance. Thus, a sports scribe called the stadium the “Silver Bowl,” the name which is still used today. At this time, the stadium could accommodate 10,000 fans.

In June of 1940, the wooden stands on the visitors side (west) were replaced with all steel grandstands, increasing the capacity to over 10,000. Also at this time, the home side was switched from the east side stands to the west side stands.

In the 1950’s the end zone stands were removed, but by the 1970’s the south end zone stand was reconstructed. The press box was completed in 1972 and in 1978 the east visitors stands were replaced with the current steel grandstands, giving the stadium a seating capacity of 7,202.

The field house was replaced in 2012 and the track was resurfaced in 2013. In the next year the field was officially renamed ‘The Joseph ‘Jazz’ Diminick Field in honor of Mount Carmel’s legendary former football coach. Later in the same year the track was rededicated to Mr. Gerald Breslin, former MCA Track Coach who compiled a record of 29 years without a dual-meet loss.


The humble history of the Cougars’ stadiums

BYU football isn’t what it used to be. The Cougar football program has grown and developed over the past 80 years to winning a national championship and having some of the nicest facilities in the country. Originally, the team played games in front of a much smaller crowd where the Richards Building now stands.

Although students use the never-ending stairs between the Tanner Building and the southwest end of campus to get to and from their classes each day, that was not their original purpose. The stairs used to be the stands of the old hillside stadium, which was home to the BYU football team in the 1930s.

The permanent stands at the old stadium seated 5,000 people, with temporary bleachers on the west side accommodating up to 12,000 people. This, however, is a small number of people compared to the current capabilities of the LaVell Edwards Stadium, which seats up to 65,000 people.

The old stadium was first used in 1928, when BYU football Coach Ott Romney led the Cougars to their first victory against the College of Idaho Coyotes.

“From its humble beginnings, it’s pretty awesome what BYU football has become,” Mel Olsen, previous offensive center and offensive line coach for BYU football, said. “It’s kind of unheard of to go from a place like that old stadium to winning a national championship.”

[media-credit align=”alignright” width=�″][/media-credit]The LaVell Edwards Stadium, the current home to the Cougars, has not been the only innovation to the BYU football program over the years. Since 1964, BYU has added the indoor practice facility as well as the Student Athlete Building, which is equipped with academic advisement for the athletes, a physical therapy center, the football gallery, the exclusive football locker room and many other services.

Olsen recalled that before and during Edwards’ coaching of the BYU Cougars, the team had to use the west annex of the Smith Fieldhouse for practice whenever it rained or snowed because the indoor practice facility was not built yet.

“The area was so small that the offense would practice for an hour and a half, followed by defense,” Olsen said.

After LaVell’s run, BYU football continued to progress to become the team it is now. The team is now equipped with Nike uniforms and state-of-the-art facilities.

“I think that BYU’s football facilities are among the nicest in the country,” wide receiver Cody Hoffman said. “Not too many stadiums still have natural grass fields … it takes a lot of work to care for a grass field.”

According to Roy Peterman, director of grounds, from the trimming of the hedges outside the stadium to the mowing of the grass field, all the immaculate details of the field grass and landscaping outside the stadium are cared for by BYU Grounds.

Whether it’s accompanying thousands of fans on a Saturday night or providing an excellent environment for the football team, the LaVell Edwards Stadium is home of BYU football and the result of a rich history.

“The improvements and successes of the football team (are) largely due to new facilities, skilled coaching and commitment to and pride in the team,” Olsen said. “It was all pretty exciting to watch unfold.”


Watch the video: The History of Football in 10 Minutes (January 2022).