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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.

Temple Stadium
Former namesBeury Stadium
Owl Stadium
LocationMount Pleasant Avenue and Michener Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19150
Coordinates40°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
Capacity20,000
SurfaceGrass
Construction
OpenedSeptember 29, 1928
Closed1995
Demolished1997
Construction costUSD $350,000
ArchitectClarence E. Wunder
General contractorCharles 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)

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.[1] 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.[2]

Stadium HistoryEdit

In 1924, Temple purchased 12 acres at the site for $75,000 for physical education classes and the university’s athletic programs. [3] In December 1927, university trustee and city contractor Charles Erny donated $100,000 to the football program for construction of a stadium. Ground broke at the site in February 1928 and construction was completed in time for the September 1928 opener. Erny loaned the university an additional $300,000 for stadium use during the 21 years following Temple Stadium’s opening.[4]

Temple's baseball and soccer teams played their home games at fields adjacent to Temple Stadium. Temple's baseball team began play at Erny Field in 1927. Its soccer team played at the soccer field, also referred to as Erny Field.

The grounds of the old stadium were maintained for several years after Temple's move to Veterans Stadium. 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.[5] 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 footballEdit

Temple played 263 home games at Temple Stadium between 1928 and 1977.[6]

Temple opened the stadium on September 29, 1928 with a 12-0 victory over St. Thomas College.[7] 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.[8] Temple played its first night game at the stadium on September 26, 1930, defeating Thiel College 13-6 under floodlights.[9]

One of the largest crowds was on November 24, 1934 when 40,000 fans saw Temple defeat Villanova 22 to 0.[10]

Temple football held their final event on the field on April 27, 2002 with their annual Cherry and White game.[11]

Professional footballEdit

The Philadelphia Eagles used the stadium twice for home games. On Tuesday, November 6, 1934, the Eagles beat the Cincinnati Reds, 64-0.[12] 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.[13]

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.[14] The club disbanded in May 1967.

SoccerEdit

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. Pittsburgh Steelers' owner Art Rooney led a group of investors who owned the Philadelphia Spartans which played home games at Temple Stadium. The Spartans beat the Toronto Falcons, 2-0, in front of 14,163 in their first match on April 16, 1967, and averaged 5,261 fans per-game in it 16 matches. The club lost more than $250,000 in 1967 and Rooney folded the club after the season.[15]

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.[16] 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 tour.[17]

Other eventsEdit

At dawn of April 21, 1935, more than 75,000 people met at the stadium for an Easter sunrise service, led by Reverend Ross Stover. Another 20,000 were not allowed in due to overcrowding. The stadium was a venue for Easter services for multiple years in the 1930s.

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.[18]

The stadium was host to a concert on May 16, 1970 with performers Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, The Steve Miller Band and Cactus.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hendrickson, Rebeccah A. (April 3, 2014). "Football Holds Alumni Day at Site Of Old Temple Stadium". templeupdate.com. Temple Update. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  2. ^ Westcott, Rich (2001). A Century of Philadelphia Sports. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp. 69, 70. ISBN 1-56639-861-4.
  3. ^ "'Title Unknown'". Temple University Weekly. September 18, 1924.
  4. ^ Bohnel, Steve (January 12, 2016). "Recalling an old stadium". The Temple News. Temple University.
  5. ^ "Project Title: "Ambler Athletic Fields"" (PDF). Temple University Capital Expenditure Request. Temple University. 2002-09-25. Retrieved 2009-04-23.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Temple wrapping its spring drills". Philadelphia Inquirer. 1992-04-27. p. C03.
  7. ^ "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.
  8. ^ "TEMPLE WINS BY 7-0 WITH AERIAL ATTACK; New Stadium Is Dedicated". New York Times. 1928-10-14. p. S2.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Football team to close Temple Stadium with annual Cherry and White game". The Temple News. 2002-04-25. Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
  12. ^ Philadelphia's Pro Football Stadiums
  13. ^ Didinger, Ray; Robert S. Lyons (2005). The Eagles Encyclopedia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. p. 200. ISBN 1-59213-449-1.
  14. ^ "1966: The Year In Football". www.the-kramerfamily.com. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  15. ^ "Philadelphia Soccer History: Philadelphia Soccer in the 1960s--Highs and Lows". MLSPhilly2010. Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28.
  16. ^ "Israel Official Games 1960-1969". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2009-04-13.
  17. ^ Associated Press (1970-05-25). "Bari Ends American Tour By Beating Eintracht, 1-0". New York Times. p. 58.
  18. ^ "FB City Title Recaps". tedsillary.com. Ted Sillary. Retrieved 2009-04-23.
  19. ^ "May 16, 1970". the jimi hendrix experience encyclopedia. Archived from the original on October 29, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-22.