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Veterans Stadium
The Vet

Veterans Stadium
Copyright 2002 by Aerial Views Publishing

  Venue Resources  
Address 3501 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19101
Seating Weather
Newspaper
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  Ballparks Virtual Mall  
Eagles Gear
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Philadelphia

  The Facility  
Date Opened April 10, 1971
Date Closed September 28, 2003
Date Demolished March 21, 2004
Ownership
(Management)
City of Philadelphia
(Philadelphia Department of Recreation)
Surface AstroTurf
(1971-2000)
NexTurf
(2001-2003)
Cost of Construction $63 Million
Stadium Financing City Issued Bonds
Stadium Architect Hugh Stubbins and Associates
Capacity 65,352
Prices
(Mean)
$45, $40
($42.83) - 1998
Baseball 62,306
Luxury Suites 89 Suites
Club Seats None
  Other Facts  
Former Tenants Philadelphia Eagles
(NFL) (1971-2003)
Philadelphia Phillies
(MLB) (1971-2003)
Philadelphia Atoms
(NASL) (1973-1975)
Philadelphia Fury
(NASL) (1978-1980)
Philadelphia Stars
(USFL) (1983-1984)
Temple University
(NCAA) (1978-2002)
Population Base 6,000,000
On Site Parking 16,000
Nearest Airport Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
Ring of Honor #15 Steve Van Buren
#40 Tom Brookshier
#44 Pete Retzlaff
#60 Chuck Bednarik
#70 Al Wistert

Sources: Mediaventures

Veterans Stadium

Soon after Shibe Park opened on April 12, 1909, people began calling for the construction of a new stadium. The situation had escalated by 1953, the year that the park was renamed Connie Mack Stadium. The building had become an eyesore. Parking around the old ballpark had become congested, and the surrounding neighborhood had begun to deteriorate.

The movement for a new stadium suffered numerous setbacks, but a bond issue was passed by the voters and goundbreaking ceremonies were finally held on October 2, 1967. The total cost was projected at $40.5 million, with an additional $3.6 million for parking.

The first event held at the new Philadelphia Veterans Stadium was the 1971 baseball season opener between the National League Philadelphia Phillies and the Montreal Expos, with the home team winning 4 - 1. Attendance for the game was 55,352, the largest baseball gathering in Pennsylvannia history at the time.

The first football game was played on August 16, 1971, a pre-season exhibition game between the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and the Buffalo Bills.

Stadium appointments included a 126,000 square foot AstroTurf artificial playing surface and a state-of-the-art sound system. The high-tech scoreboard system was called "the largest, most expensive, and most sophisticated in all of sports." The scoreboards are gone now, replaced by a new giant screen "Phanavision" and animated scoreboard.

In addition to being the favorite venue of the Army-Navy Football Classic, the "Vet" serves as the home field for the Temple University Owls football team, a Big East Conference member, for more than 15 years. Notable rivials have included Penn State, Miami, West Virginia, and Syracuse.

The regular infusion of capital dollars has ensured that the people of Philadelphia have a stadium in which they can take pride. Some $64 million has been invested in structural repairs, seat additions, and other improvements since 1985, and a $10 million program for 1996 to complete the seating replacement on the lower, to improve outdoor lighting, to replace the AstroTurf field, to extend the fire sprinkler system, to replace the remaining elevators, as well as to make various structural repairs and power plant upgrades.

"To Philadelphia's spirited football fans - who have an opinion on everything - Veterans Stadium always has been a huge open-air soapbox. Natives call it, simply, the Vet. Located in south Philadelphia, Veterans Stadium looks a lot like Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium and Pittsburgh's Three Rivers. There's a hardness, though, about the stadium and an intimidating presence to the fans who pack the Vet on weekends to watch the Eagles - "Iggles" in Phillytalk - that make a visit unique.

Dispite the addition of plush penthouse suites, luxury boxes and fancy elevators, the Vet definitely is showing its age. Neither Big Bird, the unofficial mascot that roams the stands, nor the Eagle cheerleaders can distract a visitor from that fact. Done in the popular earth colors of the '70s, the orange, yellow and brown seats are hard, molded plastic. (Those seats were replaced in 1996 prior to the Phillies hosting the All-Star game. They're now all blue.) The AstroTurf surface, often criticized for being dirty and brick-hard, has been replaced serveral times and was ripped up again after the 1994 season. New scoreboards and video boards are planned, and every seat will eventually be replaced, but talk of building a stadium for the co-tenant baseball Phillies persists.

Even so, Eagles fans remain a rowdy lot, especially when they lose. Ask any Redskins fan who has dared wear a headdress during the visit."

As written by The Sports Staff of USA TODAY in "The Complete Four Sport Stadium Guide" for Fodor's Sports

December 5, 1998 (Wire Services) - Nine fans were injured when a railing collapsed during the Army-Navy game at Veterans Stadium.

EAGLES TO PAY PHILADELPHIA $8 MILLION
June 18, 2009
Copyright 2009 MediaVentures

Philadelphia, Pa. - When the accounting was done, the Philadelphia Eagles owed the city $3 million as a result of lawsuits each had filed.

The city said it was owed $8 million by the team for luxury suite leases at Veterans Stadium for the 2000 and 2001 season while the Eagles claimed the city owed $8 million in losses for a missed game in 2001 when the stadium's playing surface forced cancellation of a game.

In the end, the courts ruled that the city owed the team $5 million and the team owed the city $8 million, so the team paid the $3 million balance.

Veterans Stadium

Philadelphia Eagles

Baker
Bowl

Baker Bowl
1933-1935
Municipal
Stadium

Municipal Stadium

1936-1939
Connie Mack
Stadium

Connie Mack Stadium

1940
Municipal
Stadium

Municipal Stadium

1941
Shibe
Park

Shibe Park

1942-1957
Franklin
Field

Franklin Field

1958-1970
Veterans
Stadium

Veterans Stadium

1971-2002
Lincoln Financial
Field

Lincoln Financial Field

2003-Present

Philadelphia Phillies

Recreation
Park

Recreation Park
1883-1886
Baker
Bowl

Baker Bowl
1887-1926
Connie Mack
Stadium

Connie Mack Stadium
1927
Baker
Bowl

Baker Bowl
1928-1938
Shibe
Park

Shibe Park
1938-1970
Veterans
Stadium

Veterans Stadium
1971-2003
Citizens Bank
Park

Citizens Bank Park
2004-Present

Temple Owls

Temple Stadium
Temple Stadium

1928-1975
Veterans Stadium
Veterans Stadium

1976-2002
Lincoln Financial Field
Lincoln Financial Field

2003-Present


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