Franklin Field is the home of the Penn Relays, and is the University of Pennsylvania's stadium for football, track and field, lacrosse and formerly for soccer, field hockey and baseball. It is also used by Penn students for recreation, and for intramural and club sports, including touch football and cricket, and is the site of Penn's graduation exercises, weather permitting.
Deemed by the NCAA as the oldest stadium still operating for football, it was the site of the nation's first scoreboard in 1895, the nation's first stadium with an upper deck of seats in 1922, and was the site of the first radio broadcast of a football game in 1922 on WIP and the first television broadcast of a football game by Philco.
|Location||South 33rd and Spruce Streets|
Philadelphia, PA 19104
|Public transit|| University City: SEPTA Regional Rail|
SEPTA bus: 30, 40, 42, LUCY
|Owner||University of Pennsylvania|
|Operator||University of Pennsylvania|
|Opened||April 20, 1895|
|Construction cost||$100,000 (1895)|
($3.01 million in 2018 dollars)
|Architect||Frank Miles Day & Brother|
|General contractor||Turner Construction (permanent structure in 1922)|
|Penn Quakers (NCAA) (1895–present)|
Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) (1958–1970)
Philadelphia Bell (WFL) (1975)
Philadelphia Atoms (NASL) (1976)
Philadelphia Spinners (MLU) (2012–2014)
Franklin Field was built for US$100,000 (equivalent to $3,011,600 in 2018) and dedicated on April 20, 1895, for the first running of the Penn Relays.
The Field supplemented and eventually replaced the venue called University Grounds, which was located a few blocks west on a block bounded by Spruce Street (north), 38th Street (east), Pine Street (south), Woodland Avenue and 37th Street T-intersection (northwest). Its location was typically given as "37th and Spruce".
Permanent Franklin Field construction did not begin until after the turn of the century. Weightman Hall gymnasium, the stadium, and permanent grandstands were designed by architect Frank Miles Day & Brother and were erected from 1903 to 1905 at a cost of US$500,000 (equivalent to $13,942,593 in 2018). The field was 714 feet long and 443 feet wide. The site featured a ¼-mile track, a football field, and a baseball diamond. Beneath the stands were indoor tracks and indoor training facilities.
In 1916, university officials, led by George Neitzche, planned with the city to build a new 100,000-seat half-sunken stadium for $750,000 at Woodland Ravine, a depression on the southeastern side of Woodland Cemetery. Plans called for a new train station called Union Station which would feature a Pennsylvania Railroad stop and a stop on a proposed (and never built) elevated subway line connected to the Market–Frankford Line. Architecture firm Koronski & Cameron created a rendering but plans quickly collapsed. Five years later, it was decided instead to expand Franklin Field.
The current stadium structure was built in the 1920s, designed by Day & Klauder, after the original wooden bleachers were torn down. The lower tier was erected in 1922. The old wood stands were razed immediately following the Penn Relays and the new concrete lower tier and seating for 50,000 were built. The second tier was added in 1925, again designed by Day & Klauder, when it became the second (and the largest) two-tiered stadium in the United States.
The first football radio broadcast originated from Franklin Field in 1922. It was carried by Philadelphia station WIP. This claim is pre-empted by an earlier live radio broadcast emanating from Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, on October 8, 1921, a full year before Franklin Field's claim to fame. Harold W. Arlin announced the live broadcast of the Pitt-West Virginia football game on October 8, 1921, on radio station KDKA. The first commercial football television broadcast in 1939 also came from Franklin Field.
In the university's football heyday—when Penn led the nation in attendance—the 65,000-seat stadium was expanded each fall with temporary stands to seat 78,000. Today, Franklin Field, named after Penn's founder, Benjamin Franklin, seats 52,958.
Franklin Field switched from grass to AstroTurf in 1969. It was the first National Football League stadium to use artificial turf. The stadium's fifth AstroTurf surface was installed in 1993. The current Sprinturf field replaced the AstroTurf in 2004. Franklin Field was considered a candidate to host games for the 1994 World Cup. FIFA required that host stadiums have natural grass. Had Philadelphia been selected and Franklin Field used, the stadium would have had to return to a grass surface, or perhaps use a temporary grass field as was done at two World Cup sites—Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan.
Franklin Field has hosted the annual Penn Relays Carnival, the largest track-and-field meet in the U.S., for over 100 years.
The first Penn Relays was held in 1895. Frank B. Ellis, chairman of Penn's track committee, was looking for an event to mark the dedication of the school's then new stadium, Franklin Field. Two years earlier, during his senior year at Penn, Penn and Princeton competed in a one-mile relay race in which four runners from each school each ran a quarter of a mile. That race had been an outgrowth of intramural relay races held at Penn. Ellis and others arranged a series of relay races to take place on Saturday afternoon, April 20, 1895. 64 competitors from eight colleges, six prep schools and two high schools took part. Eight two-team races were run with Harvard beating Penn in the mile-relay feature in 3:34.4.
The 2nd USSR-United States Track and Field dual meet was held at Franklin Field on July 18 and 19, 1959. Stars who competed included Parry O'Brien, Ray Norton, Al Cantello, Hayes Jones, Tamara Press, Vasili Kuznetsov, Dyrol Burleson, Greg Bell, a young Wilma Rudolph, and future long-jump great Igor Ter-Ovanesyan.
Franklin Field hosted the NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship in June 1961, the first time the championship was held on the East Coast. Seven records were set, and the University of Southern California won its 21st team Track & Field championship.
Following the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics and in honor of the United States Bicentennial, Franklin Field hosted The Bicentennial Meet of Champions track and field event on August 4, 1976. Montreal Olympians at the meet included Hasely Crawford, Don Quarrie, Michael Shine and Edwin Moses. The meet was also a chance for top runners including Houston McTear who had not been able to compete in Montreal to race against medal winners. 13,722 attended the event and saw Dwight Stones set a record for the high-jump and John Walker win the mile.
The University of Pennsylvania hosted the two-day 1980 Liberty Bell Track and Field Classic, an alternate to the 1980 Summer Olympics for 26 countries participating in the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics which were held in Moscow. The Liberty Bell Classic began on July 16, 1980. It was the largest international track meet held in the U.S. since the 1932 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of foreign competitors. Franklin Field hosted the track and field events where 20,111 spectators saw the final evening of competitions. In several events, the times were better than those in Moscow, such as American Renaldo Nehemiah's time of 13.31 in the 110m hurdles ahead of East German gold medal winner Thomas Munkelt's time of 13.39.
The track in Franklin Field has a rarely used configuration where the 400 metre circumference is achieved in lane 5, rather than in lane one. Thus there are two curbs on the track, inside of lane one and also inside of lane 5. In order to accommodate the full fields of the Penn Relays and other meets, special adaptations are made with a movable curb on the backstretch to stagger the runners to arrive at a common break point in lane 5, rather than the conventional lane one. Single lap races in the inner lanes, run portions of an extra straightaway. Multiple lap races spend the majority of the race in lane 5 to run the proper distances.
The current track was installed in 2015 by ATT Sports, Inc., and uses a Rekortan track surface.
Penn football played on Franklin Field for the first time in 1895. The University of Pennsylvania was one of the top football schools in the first years of college football. Many consider Penn to have been the national champion in college football in 1894, 1895, 1897 and 1904. Other sources identify Penn as national champions in 1895, 1897, 1904 and 1908. John H. Outland played at Franklin Field for Penn in 1897 and 1898. On October 26, 1907, Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian school trounced a powerful University of Pennsylvania team, 26-6, before an overflow crowd of 20,000 at Franklin Field. Red Grange set an NCAA record at Franklin Field when he rushed for 331 yards in the University of Illinois' 24–2 victory over Penn on October 31, 1925, before 67,877 spectators.
On Saturday, November 16, 2002, ESPN broadcast College GameDay from Franklin Field prior to the game between Penn and Harvard. Both teams entered the game undefeated, 5–0, in the conference. It was College GameDay's first broadcast from a Division I-AA college. Penn won the contest, 44–9, and was undefeated and untied for the season. Harvard finished 6–1 in conference, 7–3 overall.
The Philadelphia Eagles played at Franklin Field from 1958 through 1970. They moved to the stadium for the 1958 season after leaving Connie Mack Stadium. Franklin Field would seat over 60,000 for the Eagles whereas Connie Mack had a capacity of 39,000. According to then-Eagles president Frank L. McNamee, the Eagles did not pay rent for use of Franklin Field because Penn was a not-for-profit organization. Instead, the Eagles donated between $75,000 and $100,000 per-year to pay for maintenance and other expenses. The university collected all concessions and parking revenue.
The Eagles hosted the 1960 NFL Championship Game here, defeating the Green Bay Packers, 17–13, in Packers' coach Vince Lombardi's only career playoff loss. Attendance for the championship was 67,325.
Two infamous incidents in Eagles history occurred at the stadium.
During the December 15, 1968 game against the Minnesota Vikings, a Christmas show was planned for halftime. The Eagles had entered the game 2–11, and fans were none too pleased with Eagles quarterback Norm Snead, owner Jerry Wolman, and especially coach Joe Kuharich: many fans came to the game wearing "Joe Must Go" buttons. Unfortunately, the man meant to play Santa was unable to make it to Franklin Field due to the bad weather. In lieu of the original halftime show, a 19-year-old fan named Frank Olivo (who came to the stadium already wearing a Santa Claus costume) was invited onto the field to toss candy canes with the cheerleaders. Frustrated by the team, the ugly wet weather, and his unconvincing beard, fans booed Olivo and threw snowballs at him. This incident is often referred to by sportscasters in denigrating Philadelphia sports fans as so mean they booed Santa Claus. The Eagles lost the game, 24–17. (Olivo continued to attend Eagles games and even made a return as Santa Claus four decades later, at the Eagles' December 27, 2009 game against the Denver Broncos at Lincoln Financial Field.)
On November 23, 1970, announcer Howard Cosell was apparently drunk during a nationally televised broadcast of the Eagles-New York Giants Monday Night Football game. After throwing up on color commentator Don Meredith's cowboy boots shortly before halftime, Cosell left the stadium and took a taxi back to New York City. Meredith and play-by-play announcer Keith Jackson made little mention of his departure during the second half. Later, denying drunkenness, Cosell claimed that he had been dizzy from running laps around Franklin Field's track before the game with track star Tommie Smith.
The Army–Navy Game was played 18 times at Franklin Field between 1899 and 1935 before moving to the larger Municipal Stadium in South Philadelphia in 1936. Penn alumnus and Olympic-medalist George Orton (who had worked with Frank Ellis in managing the Penn Relays) is credited with helping to bring the game to Philadelphia in 1899.
Temple University played its home football games at Temple Stadium until the late 1970s. Temple Stadium had opened in 1928 and sat up to 34,000 for football. Over the years, Temple had played home games at Franklin Field when crowds were expected to exceed Temple Stadium's capacity. Temple moved its home games to Veterans Stadium in the late 1970s but the Phillies had priority for the field for Saturdays during baseball season, which ends the last week in September. When Temple home games conflicted with Phillies home games, Temple would play at Franklin Field. This continued through the 2002 season, Temple's final year at the Vet before the Owls moved to Lincoln Financial Field as tenants of the Eagles. One of the last Temple football games at Franklin Field was a 44–21 loss to the number-one-ranked Miami Hurricanes on September 14, 2002; Miami's Willis McGahee rushed for 134 yards and four touchdowns in front of 33,169 fans.
In 2016, the multi-division Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) held the second installment of its six NCAA Division III post-season bowl games (over three days) at Franklin Field for select member teams that did not make the DIII playoffs. In the series's inaugural year, the games were played at Arute Field in New Britain, Connecticut. The bowl series will move to Delaware Stadium in 2017, but will return to Franklin Field in 2018.
The NFL's Frankford Yellow Jackets hosted the Dayton Triangles on September 24, 1927, at Franklin Field. The Yellow Jackets usually played their home games in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. The Triangles won, 6–3.
On August 23, 1958, the first Canadian Football League game played on American soil between two Canadian teams was played at Franklin Field, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defeated the Ottawa Rough Riders, 13–7.
Franklin Field hosted two United States Football League play off games; divisional playoff game on June 30, 1984, between the host Philadelphia Stars and the visiting New Jersey Generals. The Stars were forced to play the game at Franklin Field because the Philadelphia Phillies had a game scheduled at Veterans Stadium that weekend. The Stars defeated the Generals, 28–7, behind two touchdowns from RB Kelvin Bryant. A crowd of 19,038 took in the game on a warm, overcast afternoon. The game was broadcast nationally on ABC Sports. The Eastern Conference championship game the following weekend against the Birmingham Stallions was also moved to Franklin, due to a Phillies game, and also broadcast on ABC.
Franklin Field was the longtime home of Philadelphia's City Title high school football championship game. The game was held at the stadium in 1938, 1940, 1941, and from 1943 through 1972, before it moved to Veterans Stadium. On Thanksgiving Day, 1941, 40,000 fans watched West Philadelphia tie West Philadelphia Catholic, 0–0. In 1945, 54,000 fans saw Southern beat West Catholic, 18–13. The 1946 game, played before 60,000, ended in a riot when Northeast fans stormed the field in the final minute of the school's 33–26 victory over West Catholic, prompting West Catholic fans to do the same.
The NASL Philadelphia Atoms had played at Veterans Stadium from 1973–1975. They moved to Franklin Field in 1976 which had better sight lines for soccer. Attendance was 8,400 for the home opener on May 2, 1976. They drew a season high of 25,000 for the July 17 match against the New York Cosmos which featured soccer great Pele. The team averaged 6,449 at Franklin Field for their 11 home matches in 1976. The Philadelphia Fury hosted a play-off game against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on August 23, 1979, at Franklin Field when the Fury's home field, Veterans Stadium, was being used by the Phillies.
Franklin Field was one of fifteen United States stadia (along with John F. Kennedy Stadium, also in Philadelphia) inspected by a five-member FIFA committee in April 1988 in the evaluation of the United States as a possible host of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. On August 25, 1989, a crowd of 43,356 at Franklin Field saw the US national soccer team defeat Dnepr of the Soviet Top League, 1–0; Eric Eichmann scored the lone goal in the game's 12th minute.
On November 30, 2004, Franklin Field was home to the first rugby league match between the United States and Australia. The United States led the World Cup-holders Australia for much of the game, but eventually lost, 36–24.
April 14, 2012 marked the debut of Franklin Field as the home stadium for the Philadelphia Spinners in their first AUDL season. An estimated 1700 were in attendance as the Spinners defeated the Buffalo Hunters, 26–14. The Spinners continued to use Franklin Field for the rest of the 2012 season and used it for two games in the 2014 MLU season.
The inaugural Major League Ultimate championship game was played at Franklin Field on July 13, 2013. The Boston Whitecaps defeated the San Francisco Dogfish, 20–15. The Stadium again hosted the MLU Championship on July 16, 2016, as the Philadelphia Spinners defeated the Portland Stags, 14–11.
The stadium was the site of the speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in which he accepted the 1936 Democratic Party's nomination for a second term as president. It is estimated that a crowd of 100,000 sat through intermittent rain at Franklin Field to hear FDR's speech.
The 2000 M. Night Shyamalan-directed movie Unbreakable prominently features Franklin Field as one of the main locations in the film. The film's main character, played by Bruce Willis, plays a security guard at the stadium. In the 2006 movie Invincible, Franklin Field served as a stand-in for the demolished Veterans Stadium, images of which were digitally superimposed on some of the football action sequences.
| Home of the
| Host of the
Drum Corps International
Mile High Stadium
| Home of the
NCAA Lacrosse Final Four
Rutgers Stadium I
Ralph Korte Stadium
| Host of the College Cup
California Memorial Stadium
The 1895 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1895 college football season. The team finished with a 14–0 record and was retroactively named as the national champion by the Billingsley Report, Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, and National Championship Foundation, and as a co-national champion by Parke H. Davis. They outscored their opponents 480 to 24.1897 Penn Quakers football team
The 1897 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1897 college football season. The team finished with a 15–0 record and was retroactively named as the national champion by the Billingsley Report, Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, and National Championship Foundation, and as a co-national champion by Parke H. Davis. They outscored their opponents 463 to 20.1898 Penn Quakers football team
The 1898 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1898 college football season.1899 Penn Quakers football team
The 1899 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1899 college football season.1904 Penn Quakers football team
The 1904 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1904 college football season. The team finished with a 12–0 record and was retroactively named as the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, and Parke H. Davis, and as a co-national champion by the National Championship Foundation. They outscored their opponents 222 to 4.1905 Penn Quakers football team
The 1905 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1905 college football season. The Quakers finished with an undefeated 12–0–1 record in their fourth year under head coach Carl S. Williams. Significant games included a 6 to 0 victory over the Carlisle Indians, a 12 to 6 victory over Harvard, a 23 to 0 victory over Columbia, a 6 to 5 victory over Cornell, and a 6-6 tie with Lafayette. The 1905 Penn team outscored its opponents by a combined total of 259 to 33.Six Penn players received recognition on the 1905 College Football All-America Team. They are: end Izzy Levene (WC-3; NYW; NYG); tackle Otis Lamson (WC-1; CW-1; NYEP; NYW; NYG; NYEP; NYT; NYG); guard F. Hobson (NYEP; NYG); center Robert Torrey (WC-1; CW-1; NYEP; NYT; NYW; NYG); quarterback Vince Stevenson (NYW); and halfback H.W. Sheble (WC-2).1907 Penn Quakers football team
The 1907 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1907 college football season. They finished with an 11–1 record and claim 1907 as a national championship season. They outscored their opponents 256 to 40.1908 Penn Quakers football team
The 1908 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1908 college football season. The team finished with an 11–0–1 record and was retroactively named as the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, and Parke H. Davis, and as a co-national champion by the National Championship Foundation. They outscored their opponents 215 to 28.1924 Penn Quakers football team
The 1924 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1924 college football season. The team was finished with a 9–1–1 record and was retroactively named as the 1924 national champion by Parke H. Davis. They outscored their opponents 203 to 31.1930 Penn Quakers football team
The 1930 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 1930 college football season. The Quakers were led by head coach Lud Wray and played their home games at Franklin Field with a capacity crowd of 78,000.1960 NFL Championship Game
The 1960 National Football League championship game was the 28th NFL title game. The game was played on Monday, December 26, at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.In addition to the landmark 1958 championship game, in which the Baltimore Colts defeated the New York Giants in sudden death overtime, the 1960 game has also been called a key event in football history. The game marked the lone playoff defeat for Packers coach Vince Lombardi before his Packers team established a dynasty that won five NFL championships, including the first two Super Bowls, in a span of seven seasons. The victory was the third NFL title for the Philadelphia Eagles, and their final championship until the team won Super Bowl LII in 2018, ending a 57-season championship drought.The American Football League was in its first season and held its inaugural title game less than a week later. First-year NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle convinced owners to move the league's headquarters from Philadelphia to New York City, and with Congressional passage of the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961 received an antitrust exemption that allowed the league to negotiate a common broadcasting network representing all of its teams, helping cement football's ascendancy as a national sport.This was the second and last NFL championship game played in Philadelphia, and the only one at Franklin Field. A dozen years earlier, the 1948 title game was held in the snow at Shibe Park and was also an Eagles' victory.
Ticket prices for the game were ten and eight dollars.2002 Penn Quakers football team
The 2002 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 2002 NCAA Division I-AA football season. It was the 128th season of play for the Quakers. They were led by 11th year head coach Al Bagnoli and played their home games at Franklin Field. They were a member of the Ivy League. They finished the season 9-1, 7-0 in Ivy League play.2012 Penn Quakers football team
The 2012 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania in the 2012 NCAA Division I FCS football season. They were led by 21st year head coach Al Bagnoli and played their home games at Franklin Field. They are a member of the Ivy League. They finished the season 6–4, 6–1 in Ivy League play to be crowned Ivy League champions.2015 Penn Quakers football team
The 2015 Penn Quakers football team represented the University of Pennsylvania during the 2015 NCAA Division I FCS football season. They were led by first year head coach Ray Priore and played their home games at Franklin Field. They were a member of the Ivy League. They finished the season 7–3, 6–1 in Ivy League play to finish in a three-way tie for the Ivy League title with Dartmouth and Harvard.Eagles–Redskins rivalry
The Eagles–Redskins rivalry is a rivalry between the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins of the National Football League. The rivalry began in 1934, during the time the Redskins played in Boston. The Washington Redskins lead in all-time series 86–76–8. The Redskins have won 3 Super Bowls and 2 NFL Championships, while the Eagles have won 1 Super Bowl and 3 NFL Championships. The rivalry is one of the most heated rivalries in the NFL, and has featured some of the most memorable moments in NFL history. The rivalry is most notable for the "Body Bag Game", where the Eagles knocked out eight Redskins players in a game in 1990; however, two months later, the Redskins would return to Philadelphia and soundly defeat the Eagles in the only playoff meeting between the two teams.
The rivalry can be attributed to the close proximity of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., which is mirrored in the National Hockey League's Capitals–Flyers rivalry.Franklin Field (Alabama)
Franklin Field (FAA LID: 07A) is a county-owned public-use airport in Bullock County, Alabama, United States. It is located five nautical miles (5.8 mi, 9.3 km) west of the central business district of Union Springs, Alabama. It is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.Penn Quakers football
The Penn Quakers football team is the college football team at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Penn Quakers have competed in the Ivy League since its inaugural season of 1956, and are currently a Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Penn has played in 1,364 football games, the most of any school in any division. Penn plays its home games at historic Franklin Field, the oldest football stadium in the US. All Penn games are broadcast on WNTP or WFIL radio.Penn Relays
The Penn Relays (also Penn Relays Carnival) is the oldest and largest track and field competition in the United States, hosted annually since April 21, 1895 by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia. In 2012, there were 116 events run at the meet and more athletes run in the Penn Relays than do any other track and field meet in the world. It regularly attracts more than 15,000 participants from high schools, colleges, and track clubs throughout North America and abroad, notably Jamaica, competing in more than 300 events over five days. Historically, the event has been credited with popularizing the running of relay races. It is held during the last full week in April, ending on the last Saturday in April. Attendance typically tops 100,000 over the final three days, and has been known to surpass 50,000 on Saturday. The Penn Relays also holds a Catholic Youth Organization night for Catholic Middle Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Preliminaries are run on the Tuesday during Carnival Week, and the Finals are run on Friday.Penn–Princeton football rivalry
The Penn–Princeton football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Penn Quakers and Princeton Tigers.
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
National championship seasons in bold
|Founding of the|
Football stadiums of the Ivy League
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
|Division championships (13)|
|Conference championships (4)|
|League championships (4)|
|Current league affiliations|
Championship seasons in bold
Drum Corps International World Championship host venues