Philadelphia Veterans Stadium was located at the northeast
corner of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue in Philadelphia. It housed the
Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League from 1971 through 2002
and Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies from 1971 through 2003.
Phillies (MLB, 1971-2003)
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL, 1971-2002)
Philadelphia Atoms (NASL, 1973-1975)
Philadelphia Fury (NASL, 1978-1980)
Philadelphia Stars (USFL, 1983-1984)
Temple University football (1978-2002)
65,386 (football, 2002)
Field - 330 ft
Left-Center - 371 ft
Center Field - 408 ft
Right-Center - 371 ft
Right Field - 330 ft
Backstop - 54 ft
First and Third Base to Dugouts - 45
Veteran's Stadium was another of the "cookie
cutter" multipurpose stadiums that littered the Major League
landscape in the late 1960s and early Super70s.
Named by Philadelphia's City Council, for the veterans of all wars in
1968, and originally scheduled to open in 1970 but completed one year late
due to a combination of bad weather and cost overruns, Veterans Stadium
was a complicated structure, its seating layered in seven separate levels:
The lowest, or "100" level, extended only part way around the
structure, between roughly the 25-yard lines for football games and near
the two dugouts for baseball; the "200" level comprised
field-level boxes, and the "300" level housed what were labeled
"Terrace Boxes;" these three levels collectively made up the
"Lower Stands." The "400" level was reserved for the
press and dignitaries; the upper level began with "500" level
(or "Loge Boxes"), the "600" level (Upper reserved, or
individual seats), and finally, the "700" level (General
Admission for baseball), where some of the most passionate sports fans on
the East Coast could be found. Originally, the seats were in shades of
brown, terra cotta, orange and yellow, to look like an autumn day, but in
1995 and 1996, blue seats replaced the fall-hued ones.
The Vet had been known for providing both the Eagles and the Phillies
with great home-field advantage. In particular, the acoustics greatly
enhanced the crowd noise on the field, making it difficult for opponents
to focus on the task at hand. The field's surface, originally composed of AstroTurf
(usually rated to be the "hardest" of all synthetic playing
surfaces), was switched to the somewhat softer NexTurf in 2001.
to the site of The Vet!
If you have Google
Earth installed, click here
to be "flown" to the site of Veterans Stadium. (If you do
not have it installed, get
it from Google. It allows you to view virtually anywhere on
Earth in 3D using satellite imagery.)
The most notable event in the Vet's history was Game 6 of the 1980 World
Series. In that game, the Phillies clinched their lone world championship
with a victory over the Kansas City Royals in front of 65,838 fans. The
most notable football game ever played there took place less than three
months later, and was the Eagles' 20-7 victory over the hated Dallas
Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship Game, actually played on January 11,
1981 in front of 71,250 fans. This game has sometimes been referred to as
the "Blue Jersey Bowl" because the Eagles chose to wear their
white jerseys in the game, so as to force the Cowboys to don their blue
jerseys, which they always seek to evade wearing. (In the NFL the home
team has the choice of which jerseys to wear, usually wearing their more
colorful jerseys--unless they are playing in hot weather such as in
pre-season games or in September, in which case the white jerseys are
cooler, reflecting heat--and making the road team wear their colored
jerseys, but the Cowboys have always worn their white jerseys at home as
well as usually on the road.}
The last football game played at the Vet was the Eagles' loss to Tampa
Bay in the NFC Championship game in 2003, as the team moved into Lincoln
Financial Field that autumn. The Vet also hosted the annual Army-Navy
football game 17 times, first in 1980 and last in 2001. It was during the
1998 Army-Navy game that a rail collapsed and eight people were injured.
That led to the call for new stadiums for football and baseball for the
main stadium tenants.
An Army vs. Navy
game at Philadelphia's Veteran's Stadium.
The stadium became famous for the rowdiness of Eagles fans (although
the infamous incident in which fans booed Santa Claus during a halftime
show occurred in 1968 at Franklin Field) and none more so than the 1989
follow-up game to what many called "The Bounty Bowl". On
Thanksgiving Day (November 23) that year, the Eagles beat the Cowboys at
Texas Stadium in which former Eagles placekicker Luis Zendajas left the
game with a concussion following a hard tackle by linebacker Jesse Shaw
after a kickoff. After the game, Cowboys rookie head coach Jimmy Johnson
commented that Buddy Ryan, the Eagles head coach, instituted a bounty on
Zendajas and Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman.
research by Jim Herdman & David Vincent
Courtesy of Retrosheet.
Two weeks later, on December 10, they played a rematch at The Vet,
which was covered with snow in the stands. The volatile mix of beer,
drunken fans, the "bounty" and the intense hatred for
"America's Team" (who were 1-15 that season) led to fans
throwing snowballs at Dallas players and coaches. Even the future mayor of
Philadelphia and later Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, was accused
of paying a nearby fan to throw snowballs. Beer sales were banned after
that incident for two games. A similar incident a few years later at
Giants Stadium during a nationally telecast San Diego Chargers-New York
Giants game led the National Football League to rule that seating areas
must be cleared of snow within a certain time period before kickoff. A
decade later, Cowboy receiver Michael Irvin suffered a serious injury when
he fell head-first onto the notorious AstroTurf, and would never play
football again. A number of fans initially roared their approval for the
hit, and again cheered when Irvin was carted off the field on a stretcher.
This was due in part to Cowboy teammate Deon Sanders (who, with Irvin,
were the two players most hated by Philly fans) inciting the crowd with
bizarre laying-on-of-hands movements. Regardless, the incident helped
greatly contribute to the negative perception of Eagles Fans.
The Eagles fans' hooliganism during a Monday
Night Football loss to the San Francisco 49ers in 1997 and a Dallas
Cowboys game a year later was such that the City of Philadelphia was
forced to assign a Municipal Court Judge, Seamus McCaffrey, to The Vet for
game days to deal with miscreants removed from the stands. This court ran
for the rest of 1998 season, then was moved to a location away from the
stadium until the Eagles and the city discontinued it after the opening of
Lincoln Financial Field in 2003, where thanks to modern technology and
better behaved fans, there would be no need for what was termed
"Eagles' court" by the Philadelphia sports media, noted as one
of the tougher critics of their hometown teams.
The final game ever played at the stadium was on September 28, 2003.
Alas, the Phillies lost to the Atlanta Braves that afternoon, but a
ceremony that followed pulled at the heartstrings of the sellout crowd.
Both former general manager Paul "The Pope" Owens and Tug McGraw
made their final public appearances at the park that day. During the
winter, they passed away. The last words ever uttered in the park were by
veteran announcer Harry Kalas, who helped open the facility on April 10,
1971, paraphrasing his trademark home run call: "And now, Veterans
Stadium is like a 3-1 pitch to Jim Thome or Mike Schmidt. It's on
looooooong drive...IT'S OUTTA HERE!!!" The team moved into Citizens
Bank Park in 2004.
The ultimate end came when the 33-year old stadium was imploded on March
21, 2004 as shown in the time-lapse photo on the left. A parking lot for
the still standing sporting facilities was constructed in 2004 and 2005 at
the site. On June 6, 2005, the anniversary of D-Day, a plaque and monument
to commemorate the spot where the stadium stood and a memorial for all
veterans was dedicated by the Phillies before their game against the
Arizona Diamondbacks. On September 28 of that same year, the second
anniversary of the final game, a historical marker commemorating where the
ballpark once stood was dedicated. Granite spaces where home plate, the
pitching mound and the three bases for baseball at their locations as well
as the football goalpost placements were added onto the parking lot in
autumn of that year.
Our sites have always been by you and about you. If
our TV Forums or our Technology & Science forums, you'll find literally thousands of messages from fans
of 1970s TV shows, survivors of hurricanes or aircraft accidents, etc. from all over the world sharing their memories, asking
questions, making comments. Our baseball section is new, but don't let
that stop you from sharing
your memories of the first game you went to, your favorite player, a
now-forgotten stadium, etc. Of course you can also ask questions, post
trivia, tell the world what you think of Barry Bonds, or just read what
others are saying.
Logos and team names may be trademarks of their respective franchises or leagues. This site is not recognized, approved, sponsored by, or endorsed by Major League Baseball nor any sports league or team. Any marks, terms, or logos are used for editorial/identification purposes and are not claimed as belonging to this site or its owners. Any statistical data provided courtesy of Retrosheet (see credits).
Notice from Retrosheet:
The information used here was obtained free of
charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested
parties may contact Retrosheet at 20 Sunset Rd.,
Newark, DE 19711.