Nickerson Field

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Nickerson Field
BUNickersonFldStands.jpg
Former names Boston University Field
(1953–1955)
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′11″N 71°07′08″W / 42.353°N 71.119°W / 42.353; -71.119Coordinates: 42°21′11″N 71°07′08″W / 42.353°N 71.119°W / 42.353; -71.119
Owner Boston University
Operator Boston University
Capacity 10,412[1]
Surface FieldTurf (2001–present)
Astroturf (1968–2000)
Natural grass (1955–1967)
Construction
Broke ground March 20, 1915
Opened August 18, 1915
Renovated 1955
Tenants
Boston University Terriers (NCAA) (1953–present)
Boston Patriots (AFL) (1960–1962)
Boston Minutemen (NASL) (1975)
New England Tea Men (NASL) (1979)
Boston Breakers (USFL) (1983)
Boston Bolts (ASL/APSL) (1988–1990)
Boston University Academy Terriers (NEPSAC) (1993–present)
Boston Breakers (WUSA) (2001–2003)
Boston Cannons (MLL) (2004–2006)
2008
2008
The main concourse under the stadium's seating.

Nickerson Field is an outdoor athletic stadium in the northeastern United States, on the campus of Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. It is located on the site of Braves Field, the former home ballpark of the Boston Braves, a major league baseball team in the National League; the franchise relocated to Milwaukee in March 1953, 63 years ago.[2] Parts of Braves Field, such as the entry gate and right-field pavilion, remain as portions of the current stadium. The old Braves Field ticket office also remains, now used by the Boston University police department.

The stadium is now owned by Boston University, and is the home field for some of its Terriers athletics programs, including soccer and lacrosse. It was also the home of the BU football team until the program was discontinued 18 years ago, following the 1997 season.[3]

From the mid-1980s to 1995, the stadium hosted the New England Scholastic Band Association's marching band field show championships.

Use by professional sports[edit]

Since its reconfiguration in the 1950s, seven professional sports franchises have used this stadium:

Configuration history[edit]

Boston University purchased the former home of the Braves on July 30, 1953 and renamed it Boston University Field.[4][5] The stadium inherited its current name from the school's previous athletic field, which had been in the town of Weston.[6] That field was taken by eminent domain in 1955 for construction of Route 128. BU used the proceeds, in part, to renovate the former baseball park and renamed it for William E. Nickerson, a member of the BU Board of Trustees who had donated the original field in Weston to BU in 1928. According to the previously referenced article, Nickerson "was an MIT graduate who was the principal inventor of the machinery used to manufacture the first Gillette safety razor."

In 1955, the Braves Field Grandstand, Left Field Pavilion, and Jury Box were demolished. The existing Right Field Pavilion was squared off on the west side and filled in on the east side where a section had been removed to accommodate the Braves Field right field foul pole and bullpens. The three buildings overlooking the field coincidentally suggest the outline of the original main grandstand section. The stadium has been the home of BU teams longer (50-plus years) than it was the home of the Braves (parts of 38 seasons).

In 1968, the field underwent a renovation. The four Braves Field light towers were dismantled. That year BU became the second college in the United States to install "Astroturf". The following year, not only did the BU football team practice on that field, so did the Boston College football team and the Boston Patriots. Both used the field to prepare for away games they would play on Astroturf fields. In 2001 antiquated turf was replaced with a newer, more player-friendly artificial surface as part of a deal with the Women's United Soccer Association to host the Boston Breakers games. With a professional soccer team playing at Nickerson the football lines, which had remained on the field even though BU no longer had a football program, were not repainted.

In 1989, to accommodate commencement speakers U.S. President George H. W. Bush and French President François Mitterrand, a large platform was constructed to Secret Service specifications on one side of the field. The platform, which can be seen in the bottom center of the color picture below, was removed during the summer of 2008 when the field was expanded and given a new turf.

Braves Field (left, in early 1930s) and Nickerson Field (in the 1990s)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.goterriers.com/facilities/nickerson.html
  2. ^ "Approve Boston Braves' move". Ellensburg Daily Record (Washington). Associated Press. March 18, 1958. p. 1. 
  3. ^ "Boston University cuts out football program". Bangor Daily News (Maine). Associated Press. October 27, 1997. p. C3. 
  4. ^ Former Boston ballparks BallparkTour.com.
  5. ^ Boston University Nickerson Field Boston Public Library.
  6. ^ Who's behind that building? Boston University.

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
first stadium
Home of the
Boston Patriots

1960 – 1962
Succeeded by
Fenway Park
Preceded by
Cawley Memorial Stadium
Home of the
Boston Cannons

2004 – 2006
Succeeded by
Harvard Stadium
Preceded by
Villanova Stadium
Host of Major League Lacrosse championship weekend
2004 – 2005
Succeeded by
Home Depot Center Track Stadium