Tenants: Philadelphia Phillies (NL); Philadelphia Eagles (NFL)
Architect: Hugh Stubbins & Associates
Philadelphia Phillies tickets:
Location: Left field (N by NE), Packer Street and Interstate 76; third base (W by NW), Broad Street; first base (S by SW), Pattison Avenue, First Union Spectrum and Center; right field (E by SE), Tenth Street.
Dimensions: Foul lines: 330 ft.; power alleys: 371 ft.; center field: 408 ft.; backstop: 60 ft.; foul territory: large.
Fences: 6 ft. (wood April, 1972); 8 ft. (wood June, 1971); 12 ft. (6 ft. plexiglass above 6 ft. wood, 1972).
Veterans Stadium was built on a 74-acre site in South Philadelphia, part of a complex that also included the Spectrum, home of both the Flyers (NHL) and 76ers (NBA), and JFK Stadium, site of the annual Army-Navy college football game. JFK Stadium was torn down and replaced by a new arena, called the First Union Center. Veterans Stadium replaced 62-year-old Shibe Park (A.K.A. Connie Mack Stadium), which was located north of the city. Its seating capacity of 62,382 was the largest in the National League, a status temporarily usurped by Mile High Stadium in Denver when it was the home of the Colorado Rockies.
Voters approved a $25-million bond issue for a new stadium in 1964, but because of cost overruns, another measure in 1967 authorized an additional $13 million. At a total cost of $50 million, it was one of the most expensive ballparks to date. At the Veterans Stadium opening, the ceremonial first pitch was dropped from a helicopter to Phillies catcher Mike Ryan, who bobbled the ball but held on. That started a tradition of unique deliveries of the baseball on Opening Day. In 1994, the Phillies took over the management of the Vet from the city of Philadelphia, which let the stadium fall into disrepair. The team eventually installed new seats, and a new out of town scoreboard.
The Phillies, born in 1883, had never won a World Series championship when the Vet opened. They proceeded to win NL East championships in 1976, 1977, and 1978, and, in 1980, the World Series by beating the Kansas City Royals. The World Series returned to Veterans Stadium in 1983 and 1993, but the Phillies lost both times.
More on Veterans Stadium:
Recommended Reading (bibliography):
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Panoramic view inside Veterans Stadium © 1996 by Munsey & Suppes and Ray Bergman.
Updated October 2004
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