Temple Stadium

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Temple Stadium
Former names Beury Stadium
Owl Stadium
Location Mount Pleasant Avenue and Michener Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19150
Coordinates 40°04′34″N 75°09′58″W / 40.0760°N 75.1661°W / 40.0760; -75.1661Coordinates: 40°04′34″N 75°09′58″W / 40.0760°N 75.1661°W / 40.0760; -75.1661
Capacity 20,000
Surface Grass
Construction
Opened September 29, 1928
Closed 1995
Demolished 1997
Construction cost USD $350,000
Architect Clarence E. Wunder
General contractor Charles G. Erny
Tenants
Temple Owls football (NCAA) (1928–1977)
Temple Owls Men's Soccer (NCAA) (1928–2002)
Philadelphia Bulldogs (CFL) (1965–1966)
Philadelphia Spartans (NPSL) (1967)
Temple Owls Women's Soccer (NCAA) (1991–2002)

Temple Stadium was a stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It opened in 1928 and hosted the Temple University Owls football team until they moved to Veterans Stadium in 1978.

It was located on a 32-acre (130,000 m2) area in the West Oak Lane neighborhood of the city bounded by Cheltenham Avenue, Vernon Road, Michener Avenue, and Mt. Pleasant Avenue. The football stadium stood on one end of the site; the baseball and softball diamonds stood on the other. The football stadium had seating for approximately 20,000 people; mobile seating raised capacity to 34,200. Temple Stadium was horseshoe-shaped, with the open end facing west-northwest, and built into a natural bowl. It was also known as Owl Stadium and Beury Stadium, named for the school president responsible for its construction. Prior to the building of the stadium, Vernon Park, the park where the stadium was built, was the Owls' home for several years.[1]

The grounds of the old stadium were maintained for several years after Temple's move to the Vet. The stadium was razed in 1996 and 1997 at a cost of $334,000, leaving only the natural bowl where the soccer teams played and football team practiced. On December 31, 2001, the site was sold to Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church for $4.5 million.[2] The area which was formerly used as a parking lot and intramural field, north of the former stadium, is now home to the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church's "East" church, completed in 2006. (This is the church's second link to Temple athletics: prior to the building of this church, the church held several larger services in the Liacouras Center.)

Temple Owls Football[edit]

Temple played 263 home games at Temple Stadium between 1928 and 1977.[3] One of the largest crowds was on November 24, 1934 when 40,000 fans saw Temple defeat Villanova 22 to 0.[4]

Temple opened the stadium on September 29, 1928 with a 12-0 victory over St. Thomas College.[5] The school officially dedicated the stadium on October 13, 1928 before a 7-0 victory over Western Maryland College with Philadelphia Mayor Harry Mackey in attendance.[6] Temple played its first night game at the stadium on September 26, 1930, defeating Thiel College 13-6 under floodlights.[7]

Temple football held their final event on the field on April 27, 2002 with their annual Cherry and White game.[8]

Professional Football[edit]

The Philadelphia Eagles used the stadium twice for home games. On Tuesday, November 6, 1934, the Eagles beat the Cincinnati Reds, 64-0.[9] This game was historic because it was the first time in NFL history that a team scored ten touchdowns in one game, and it is still the second most lopsided game in NFL history, second only to the Chicago Bears' 73-0 victory over the Washington Redskins in the 1940 NFL Championship Game. It was also the last game ever for the Reds, who had found out the previous day that their team was being disbanded and replaced in the league by the St. Louis Gunners (who, themselves, would only last three games).

The Eagles considered trying to purchase Temple Stadium in 1952 when the team was unhappy with their lease at Shibe Park. Temple University claimed the property to have been appraised for $1 million and said they were uninterested in selling. The Eagles would play at Shibe Park through 1957 and then move to Franklin Field.[10]

The Continental Football League Philadelphia Bulldogs played their home games at Temple Stadium during their two seasons in the league. The club won the 1966 league title. On December 4, 1966, the Bulldogs defeated the Orlando Panthers, 20 to 17 in overtime in front of 5,226 at Temple Stadium for the CFL Championship.[11] The club disbanded in May 1967.

Soccer[edit]

Temple Stadium was the long-time home of the Temple University men's and women's soccer teams. The varsity teams played at the Temple Stadium site through the 2002 season.

The National Professional Soccer League began play in 1967 with a team called the Philadelphia Spartans who played their home games at Temple Stadium. The Spartans beat the Toronto Falcons, 2-0, in front of 14,163 at the Stadium in their first match on April 16, 1967. The team however averaged only 5,261 over the course of its 16 matches. After the season, the NPSL and the United Soccer Association combined to form the North American Soccer League. The Spartans were owned by a group led by the Pittsburgh Steelers' Art Rooney who lost more than $250,000, and folded the club after the season.[12]

On September 25, 1968, the U.S. national soccer team played an international friendly against the Israel national team at Temple Stadium. 7,161 saw Israel beat the U.S. 4 to 0.[13] On May 24, 1970, Serie B soccer-club A.S. Bari defeated Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt 1 to 0 during the clubs' off-season American-tours.[14]

Other events[edit]

The 1942 Philadelphia City Title high-school football game was played at Temple Stadium. Northeast High School defeated St. Joe's Prep 7 to 0 on a snow-covered field.[15]

The stadium was host to a concert held on May 16, 1970. The performers included Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, The Steve Miller Band and Cactus.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Westcott, Rich (2001). A Century of Philadelphia Sports. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp. 69, 70. ISBN 1-56639-861-4. 
  2. ^ "Project Title: "Ambler Athletic Fields"". Temple University Capital Expenditure Request. Temple University. 2002-09-25. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Temple wrapping its spring drills". Philadelphia Inquirer. 1992-04-27. p. C03. 
  4. ^ Deegan, Thomas J. (1934-11-25). "Unbeaten Temple Eleven Routs Villanova By Score of 22 to 0 Before 40,000 Crowd; TEMPLE SETS BACK VILLANOVA, 22 TO 0". New York Times. p. S1. 
  5. ^ "TEMPLE VICTOR, 12-0, AT STADIUM OPENING; Gugle Scores 2 Touchdowns Against St. Thomas in First Game in $350,000 Arena.". New York Times. 1928-09-30. p. 18. 
  6. ^ "TEMPLE WINS BY 7-0 WITH AERIAL ATTACK; New Stadium Is Dedicated". New York Times. 1928-10-14. p. S2. 
  7. ^ "25,000 SEE TEMPLE WIN IN NIGHT GAME; Playing Under Floodlights for First Time, Owls Open With Victory Over Thiel, 13-6.". New York Times. 1930-09-27. p. 18. 
  8. ^ "Football team to close Temple Stadium with annual Cherry and White game". The Temple News. 2002-04-25. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  9. ^ Philadelphia's Pro Football Stadiums
  10. ^ Didinger, Ray; Robert S. Lyons (2005). The Eagles Encyclopedia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. p. 200. ISBN 1-59213-449-1. 
  11. ^ "1966: The Year In Football". www.the-kramerfamily.com. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  12. ^ "Philadelphia Soccer History: Philadelphia Soccer in the 1960s--Highs and Lows". MLSPhilly2010. Retrieved 2009-04-28. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Israel Official Games 1960-1969". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  14. ^ Associated Press (1970-05-25). "Bari Ends American Tour By Beating Eintracht, 1-0". New York Times. p. 58. 
  15. ^ "FB City Title Recaps". tedsillary.com. Ted Sillary. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  16. ^ "May 16, 1970". the jimi hendrix experience encyclopedia. Retrieved 2009-04-22. [dead link]