Archbold Stadium

Archbold Stadium was a multi-purpose stadium in Syracuse, New York. It opened in 1907 and was home to the Syracuse Orangemen[a] football team prior to the opening of JMA Wireless Dome in 1980.[2][3]

Archbold Stadium
Syracuse-university Archbold.jpg
LocationIrving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244
Coordinates43°2′10″N 76°8′11″W / 43.03611°N 76.13639°W / 43.03611; -76.13639Coordinates: 43°2′10″N 76°8′11″W / 43.03611°N 76.13639°W / 43.03611; -76.13639
OwnerSyracuse University
OperatorSyracuse University
Capacity30,000 (original)[2]
40,001 (maximum)
26,000 (final)
Construction
Broke groundMay 1, 1905
OpenedSeptember 25, 1907
ClosedNovember 11, 1978
Demolished1979
ArchitectFrederick Revels & Earl Hallenback[1]
Tenants
Syracuse Orangemen

HistoryEdit

The stadium was named for John D. Archbold, who donated $600,000 for the project.[4] He was also responsible for funding towards the building of Archbold Gymnasium, located just to the east overlooking the stadium. The stadium was built entirely of concrete in the excavated hill side and seated over 25,000 spectators.[5]

Construction of the stadium took place from May 1, 1905 to 1907. Upon its completion in 1907, Archbold Stadium was touted as the "Greatest Athletic Arena in America". The stadium displaced Harvard Stadium as the largest concrete stadium in the nation.[2] At the time of its construction, it was one of only three concrete stadiums in the world.[6]

In the first game played at the stadium on September 25, 1907, Syracuse Orangemen beat rival Hobart by a score of 28-0. The Orange football went 265-112-20 all-time (from 1907 until 1978), and at times were nearly unbeatable. From 1915 to 1927, Syracuse achieved a remarkable home record of 61-10-6. Then, during the 11-year stretch from 1958 to 1968, the team in Orange won 47 and lost only 6 games played at Archbold Stadium.[7]

The stadium was occasionally used to stage Syracuse Stars minor league baseball games, such as in 1920 while the Stars were awaiting the completion of Star Park.

DescriptionEdit

 
Archbold Stadium in 1919.
 
The Syracuse University - Archbold Stadium - West entrance - 1922

The stadium contained over 20,000 cubic yards of concrete over six acres, cost approximately $400,000 (≈$12 million in 2020 dollars) and was built in just over a year.[2]

The 800' x 475' stadium was oval-shaped, with a track (originally dirt) and a natural grass football field. The west end zone, the stadium's main entrance, was marked by a grand castle-like façade with two turrets framing the gateway cement arch. There was originally a wooden roof over the central section of the south grandstands for the reserved seating.[7]

In the 1950s, the stadium was expanded to the north and south, bringing the capacity up to 40,000. However, by the 1970s, stricter fire codes forced a reduction in capacity to 26,000.[3]

Final yearsEdit

Toward the end of the 1970s, Syracuse University was under pressure to improve its football facilities in order to remain a Division I-A football school. The stadium could not be expanded due to fire codes. It was closed following the 1978 season, and Syracuse University decided to build a new stadium on the former footprint of Archbold, which, appropriately for Syracuse's often cold weather, was to have a domed Teflon-coated, fiberglass inflatable roof. The new stadium was named Carrier Dome (now JMA Wireless Dome).

In the final game at Archbold Stadium, on November 11, 1978, the Orangemen defeated nationally ranked Navy, 20-17.[4][8]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The school did not adopt its current nickname of "Orange" until 2004.
  1. ^ "School History". soa.syr.edu. Syracuse Architecture. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Searing, Robert (29 September 2021). "In 1907, Syracuse University opens Archbold Stadium, called then the 'greatest athletic arena in America'". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  3. ^ a b Stefan, Robert (27 March 2013). "A History of Archbold Stadium". SyrGuide. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b Burton, Rick (1 April 2011). "Alumni Journal: Archbold's Greatest Gift". Syracuse University Magazine. Vol. 28, no. 1. Syracuse University. pp. 44–45. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  5. ^ Cranmer, Neil D. (17 October 1907). "Many Elmira Young Men Attend Syracuse University". Star-Gazette. Elmira, New York. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Reid, Robert J. (3 October 2005). A Memorable Season in College Football: A Look Back at 1959. p. 95. ISBN 978-1-4520-4033-2. Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  7. ^ a b "The Legend of Archbold Stadium". Syracuse University Athletics. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  8. ^ Searing, Robert (12 November 2021). "SU football fans rush the field at the last game ever played at Archbold Stadium". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 25 November 2021.

External linksEdit

Events and tenants
Preceded by
The Oval
Home of
Syracuse Orange football

1905 – 1978
Succeeded by