Sports in Allentown, Pennsylvania
While most of the Allentown, Pennsylvania area supports professional sports teams in New York City or Philadelphia, Allentown itself is home to a Triple-A-level baseball team, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball, and other professional sports teams.
|Allentown Patriots||Softball||Patriots Park||1940||0|
|Lehigh Valley IronPigs||IL||Baseball||Coca-Cola Park||2008||0|
|Lehigh Valley Jazz||NPSL||Soccer||J. Birney Crum Stadium||2008||0|
|Northampton Laurels FC||WPSL||Soccer||J. Birney Crum Stadium||2005||0|
|Pennsylvania Stoners||NPSL||Soccer||J. Birney Crum Stadium||1979||1 (1980)|
Baseball has had a long history in Allentown. Many minor league teams affiliated with a major league team were located in the area. Currently, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs are the city's baseball team, affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Allentown hosted the Allentown Jets, an Eastern Professional Basketball League team, from 1958 to 1981. The Jets were one of the most dominant franchises in the league's history, winning eight playoff championships and twelve division titles. The team’s home games were played in Rockne Hall at Allentown Central Catholic High School.
The Lehigh Valley has many public and private golf courses. Allentown is home to Allentown Municipal Golf Course and Iron Lakes Country Club. Bethlehem is home to the Bethlehem Golf Club and Green Pond Country Club. There are also several other courses located outside of the cities. Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem hosted the 2009 U.S. Women's Open.
Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center, which has been the training ground for numerous Olympians and U.S. national gymnastics champions, is based in Allentown. In 2003, CNN aired a documentary on Parkettes, Achieving the Perfect 10, which depicted it as a hugely demanding and competitive training program.
High school athletics
Allentown's three high schools, Allentown Central Catholic High School, Louis E. Dieruff High School, and William Allen High School, all compete in the Lehigh Valley Conference, one of the most elite high school athletic divisions in the nation. The conference comprises twelve of the largest high schools in the Lehigh Valley and offers 21 interscholastic boys and girls sports.
On February 12, 2009, the owners of the Philadelphia Phantoms, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, announced their interest in moving the team to Allentown. At the time, it was decided that the team would play their home games at a proposed arena to be built on either the Lehigh River front or adjacent to Coca-Cola Park. The team, currently named the Adirondack Phantoms, plays their home games at the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, New York.
In March 2011, it was announced that an 8,500-seat arena was to be built in Allentown for the Phantoms. Plans include retail, restaurants, a convention center, and a hotel. The arena is being constructed in Downtown Allentown on West Hamilton Street. The Phantoms could play their first game in Allentown as soon as 2013.
Allentown is also home to the Pennsylvania Stoners, a professional soccer team. From 1979-1983, the Stoners were members of the American Soccer League. The team had a five-year league record of 76-49-25, and won the league championship in 1980. Due to increasing competition from other soccer leagues, and decreasing attendance, the team folded in 1983. The team was resurrected in 2007 as the Pennsylvania Stoners, and competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). The team played its home games at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown until 2009, when the team changed venue to Zephyr Sports Complex in Whitehall. The Easton-based Northampton Laurels FC, of the Women's Premier Soccer League, plays their home games at Allentown's at J. Birney Crum Stadium.
- Long, Ernie (13 December 1999). "The Popular Stoners Were Hurt By League: ASL Got Away From What Made It Successful, Which Destroyed Allentown Team". The Morning Call.