The Northeastern football and soccer teams have a premier facility for their practices and home games: Parsons Field. As a result of comprehensive renovations completed in 1992, the field now enjoys the look of a major facility. Gone are the wooden grandstands that had served Northeastern fans since the football program's inception in 1932. Gone is the open press box that for 60 years tested the fortitude of the hardiest of New England's sportswriters. In their place are brand new aluminum grandstands capable of accommodating 2000 more fans and a press facility serving the needs of a burgeoning print and electronic media following. Further changes to Parsons include new artificial turf for the playing surface.
Renovations were also made in the Zabilski Field House with the addition of shower and locker amenities for the field hockey team, which formerly played its home games at the field as well. The well-groomed seven acres contain not only the multipurpose turf surface and grandstand, but also the adjacent Friedman Diamond, home of Husky baseball, with new dugouts and new scoreboard.
The venerable athletic facility dates back to the turn of the century when as a public playground it played host to a young Red Sox pitcher and Kent Street resident by the name of Babe Ruth, who would drop by to play a game of catch with the locals. Later, the field became the property of Huntington Prep School and in the 1920s hosted the Husky baseball, soccer and track teams. In 1930, NU purchased the property and in 1969 dedicated it in the name of former athlete, coach and athletics director Edward S. Parsons.
The Northeastern baseball team has played its games in the same lot since 1925. The earliest Husky teams used the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, which had been abandoned by the Red Sox in 1912. The long history of the seven acres on Kent Street starts with the lot as a park. In 1930, NU bought the lot. The field that the Huskies acquired was very different from the field that sits on Kent Street today. The baseball diamond was located in what is now the east endzone of Parsons Field. Houses lined the outfield, the Lawlor house in centerfield, as well as the Richards house in left, were reachable by a well-hit flyball.
In 1972, NU added turf to Parsons Field, and the baseball diamond had to be moved to its present location in the southern corner of the field. The new multisurface field's dimensions were set at the 330 feet to left and right and 400 in center.
Through the years the field has also hosted football, field hockey, soccer, women's lacrosse and track. The field is still used by teams from Brookline High School and by various Brookline summer leagues. The park has gone by various names during its history. During the YMCA ownership, it was referred to as the Huntington Field (for the Y's Huntington Prep School, not the Avenue). During its first 30 years under NU it was known first as the Kent Street Field, and later as the Northeastern University field. Since 1969, the football grounds have honored Edward Parsons. The baseball field became known as Friedman Diamond in 1988.
Source: Northeastern University
November 23, 2009
Following an extensive review process, Northeastern University has elected to discontinue its intercollegiate football program. The decision is consistent with the university's strategic approach to prioritize programs and invest in signature strengths.