Harvard Stadium is a U-shaped college football stadium in the northeast United States, located in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The stadium is owned and operated by Harvard University and is home to the Harvard Crimson football program. The stadium's seating capacity is 30,323.
Built in 1903, it was a pioneering execution of reinforced concrete in the construction of large structures. Because of its early importance in these areas, and its influence on the design of later stadiums, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The stadium is the nation's oldest permanent concrete structure dedicated to intercollegiate athletics. It seated up to 57,166 in the past, as permanent steel stands (completing a straight-sided oval) were installed in the stadium's northeast end zone in 1929. They were torn down after the 1951 season, due to deterioration and reduced attendance. Afterward, there were smaller temporary steel bleachers across the stadium's open end until the building of the Murr Center (which is topped by the new scoreboard) in 1998.
Harvard Stadium hosted one Boston Patriots season in 1970. It was their first season in the NFL after the AFL–NFL merger and their last before becoming the New England Patriots. The team moved to Schaefer Stadium in Foxborough the following season.
Aerial view from the south in 2015
|Location||95 N. Harvard Street|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Capacity||30,323 (1952–present) |
Natural grass (1903–2005)
|Broke ground||July 1903|
|Opened||November 14, 1903|
116 years ago
($8.64 million in 2018 )
|Architect||Prof. Louis J. Johnson,|
Class of 1887
|Harvard Crimson (NCAA) (1903–present) |
Boston Patriots (NFL) (1970)
Boston Cannons (MLL) (2007–2014, 2016–2018)
Boston Breakers (WPS/NWSL) (2009–2011, 2014)
Boston Brawlers (FXFL) (2014)
|Location||60 N. Harvard St., Boston, Massachusetts|
|Area||11 acres (4.5 ha)|
|Architect||McKim, Charles F.; Et al.|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP reference #||87000757|
|Added to NRHP||February 27, 1987|
Harvard Stadium was constructed on 31 acres (13 ha) of land known as Soldiers Field, donated to Harvard University by Henry Lee Higginson in 1890 as a memorial to Harvard men who had died in the Civil War (1861–1865). The structure, similar in shape to the Panathenaic Stadium, was completed in just 4½ months costing $310,000. Much of the funds raised came from a 25th reunion gift by Harvard's Class of 1879. It is the home of Harvard's football team. The stadium also hosted the Crimson track and field teams until 1984 and was the home of the Boston Patriots during the 1970 season, until Schaefer Stadium opened the following year.
Lewis Jerome Johnson, professor of civil engineering at Harvard, was a consultant to the design team for the stadium. It is historically significant that this stadium represents the first vertical concrete structure to employ reinforced structural concrete. Prior to the erection of the stadium in 1902, reinforced structural concrete was used in horizontal, that is flooring, sidewalks, etc., design only. Prof. Johnson was the engineer of note responsible for incorporating the concept into the vertical structure of the stadium design. There is a plaque dedicating the stadium to his honor on the east end wall outside the stadium.
In the early 20th century, American football was an extremely violent sport. 18 players died and 159 were seriously injured in 1905 alone. There was a widespread movement to outlaw the game but U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt intervened and demanded the rules of the game be reformed. In 1906, Roosevelt met with representatives from 62 colleges and universities and formed the Intercollegiate Football Conference, the predecessor of the NCAA. The committee's purpose was to develop a uniform set of rules and regulations to make the game safer. A leading proposal, at the time, was widening the field to allow more running room and reduce serious collisions. While it was popular among committee members, Harvard objected. Their recently completed stadium could not accommodate a larger field. Because of the permanent nature of Harvard Stadium, the proposal was rejected and the forward pass was legalized in April 1906. Harvard Stadium led to the creation of two of the most fundamental aspects of modern American football: standard field dimensions and the legal forward pass.
It is also the host of music festivals like the Amandla Festival, where Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley performed a historic concert in 1979. Janis Joplin performed her last show at the stadium in 1970, shortly before her death. During the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, the stadium hosted several soccer preliminaries. In 2007, the Boston Cannons, a professional lacrosse team for Major League Lacrosse, moved their home site to the stadium. They previously played at Boston University's Nickerson Field.
Harvard and the Boston Bruins have begun talks about making a bid for the stadium to serve as the host of the National Hockey League's 2024 NHL Winter Classic to coincide with the Boston Bruins' 100th anniversary year. If awarded the game, the Boston Bruins are expected to ask the NHL to have the Montreal Canadiens serve as the opposition.
|Date||Time (EDT)||Team #1||Result||Team #2||Round||Attendance|
|July 29||19.30||Norway||0–0||Chile||Group A||25,000|
|July 30||19.30||Canada||1–1||Iraq||Group B||16,730|
|July 31||19.00||Norway||1–2||France||Group A||27,832|
|August 1||19.00||Cameroon||1–0||Iraq||Group B||20,000|
|August 2||19.00||Qatar||0–2||Norway||Group A||17,529|
|August 3||19.00||Cameroon||1–3||Canada||Group B||27,261|
Although most of Harvard's campus is in Cambridge, the stadium and most other intercollegiate athletic facilities, along with Harvard Business School, lie to the south, across the Charles River, in the nearby Allston neighborhood of Boston. The stadium is the most iconic piece of the Soldiers Field athletic complex, which also includes the baseball stadium, outdoor track, an artificial turf field hockey/lacrosse field, two soccer stadiums, pools, Beren Tennis Center (outdoor), the Gordon Indoor Track, Dillon Fieldhouse, Lavietes Pavilion, and Bright Hockey Center. Newell Boathouse, home of Harvard's men's crew, lies across Soldiers Field Road on the banks of the Charles.
The stadium's horseshoe opens to the northeast, towards the river, and the press box is at the top of the northwest sideline's grandstand. The running track has been removed; it was non-standard, with long straights and tight turns, and the outside lanes were very near the stadium walls.
The 1908 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 1908 college football season. The team finished with a 9–0–1 record and was retroactively named as the national champion by the Billingsley Report. They outscored their opponents 132 to 8.1910 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1910 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University The Crimson were led by third year head coach Percy Haughton and played their home games at Harvard Stadium. They finished the season undefeated as were recognized as the national champion for the 1910 season.1912 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1912 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 1912 college football season. The team finished with a 9–0 record and was retroactively named as the national champion by the Billingsley Report, Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, and Parke H. Davis, and as a co-national champion by the National Championship Foundation. They outscored their opponents 176 to 22.1913 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1913 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 1913 college football season. The team finished with a 9–0 record and was retroactively named as the national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation, Houlgate System, and National Championship Foundation, and as a co-national champion with Chicago by Parke H. Davis. They outscored their opponents 225 to 21.1915 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1915 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 1915 college football season. The Crimson finished with an 8–1 record under eighth-year head coach Percy Haughton. The sole loss was a 10–0 defeat against Cornell. Walter Camp selected three Harvard players (tackle Joseph Gilman, halfback Richard King and fullback Eddie Mahan) as first-team members of his 1915 College Football All-America Team.1919 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1919 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 1919 college football season. They finished with a 9–0–1 record and were retroactively named as the 1919 national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation and the Houlgate System, and as a co-national champion by the College Football Researchers Association, National Championship Foundation, and Parke H. Davis. They outscored their opponents 229 to 19.1920 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1920 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University during the 1920 college football season. They were led by second-year head coach Bob Fisher and played their home games at Harvard Stadium. The team finished the season undefeated and was recognized as a co-national champion by the Boand System.1921 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1921 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 1921 college football season. The Crimson finished with a 7–2–1 record under third-year head coach Bob Fisher. Walter Camp selected one Harvard player, guard John Fiske Brown, as a first-team member of his 1921 College Football All-America Team.1925 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1925 Harvard Crimson football team was an American football team that represented Harvard University as an independent during the 1925 college football season. In its seventh season under head coach Bob Fisher, the team compiled a 4–3–1 record and outscored opponents by a total of 118 to 88. The team played its home games at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, Massachusetts.1930 Harvard Crimson football team
The 1930 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University. They were led by fifth-year head coach Arnold Horween and played their home games at Harvard Stadium.2011 Harvard Crimson football team
The 2011 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 2011 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Crimson were led by 18th year head coach Tim Murphy and played their home games at Harvard Stadium. They are a member of the Ivy League. They finished the season 9–1, 7–0 in Ivy League play to claim the conference championship.2012 Harvard Crimson football team
The 2012 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 2012 NCAA Division I FCS football season. They were led by 19th year head coach Tim Murphy and played their home games at Harvard Stadium. They are a member of the Ivy League. They finished the season 8–2, 5–2 in Ivy League play to finish in second place.2013 Harvard Crimson football team
The 2013 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 2013 NCAA Division I FCS football season. They were led by 20th year head coach Tim Murphy and played their home games at Harvard Stadium. They were a member of the Ivy League. They finish with a record of 9–1 overall, 6–1 in Ivy League play to share the Ivy League regular season conference title with Princeton.2014 Harvard Crimson football team
The 2014 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University in the 2014 NCAA Division I FCS football season. They were led by 21st year head coach Tim Murphy and played their home games at Harvard Stadium. They were a member of the Ivy League. They finished the season 10–0, 7–0 in Ivy League play to be crowned Ivy League Champions.2015 Harvard Crimson football team
The 2015 Harvard Crimson football team represented Harvard University during the 2015 NCAA Division I FCS football season. They were led by 22nd year head coach Tim Murphy and played their home games at Harvard Stadium. They were a member of the Ivy League. They finished the season 9–1, 6–1 in Ivy League play to finish in a three-way tie for the Ivy League title with Dartmouth and Penn.2019 Harvard Crimson football team
The 2019 Harvard Crimson football team will represent Harvard University during the 2019 NCAA Division I FCS football season as a member of the Ivy League. They will be led by 26th year head coach Tim Murphy and play their home games at Harvard Stadium.Football at the 1984 Summer Olympics
The association football tournament at the 1984 Summer Olympics started on July 29 and ended on August 11. It was the first Olympic football competition in which professionals were allowed. Until then, the amateur-only rule had heavily favored socialist countries from Eastern Europe whose players were professionals in all but name. However, as agreed with FIFA to preserve the primacy of the World Cup, the Olympic competition was restricted to players with no more than five "A" caps at tournament start, regardless of age.
The football tournament was held in four venues:
Harvard Stadium (Boston)
Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Maryland)
Stanford Stadium (Stanford, California)
Rose Bowl, (Pasadena, California)The Gold Medal game between France and Brazil at the Rose Bowl attracted an Olympic Games football attendance record of 101,799. Until 2014 this remained the record attendance for a football game in the United States. This broke the previous Olympics record attendance of 100,000 set at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia for the game of the 1956 Olympic Games played between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The Rose Bowl attendance would remain the Olympic record until 104,098 attended the game of the 2000 Summer Olympics between Cameroon and Spain at the Stadium Australia in Sydney.
The attendance also stood as the highest for a football game in the United States until 109,318 saw Manchester United defeat Real Madrid during the 2014 International Champions Cup at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.Harvard Crimson football
The Harvard Crimson football program represents Harvard University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). Harvard's football program is one of the oldest in the world, having begun competing in the sport in 1873. The Crimson has a legacy that includes thirteen national championships and 20 College Football Hall of Fame inductees, including the first African-American college football player William H. Lewis, Huntington "Tack" Hardwick, Barry Wood, Percy Haughton, and Eddie Mahan. Harvard is the eighth winningest team in NCAA Division I football history.List of Harvard–Yale football games
The football teams of Harvard and Yale have been meeting nearly annually since their first game on November 13, 1875. For an overview of these matches, see The Game.
Following is a table of dates, scores and venues of Harvard-Yale games. All games were played on Saturdays except those in 1883 and 1887 when the game was played on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Since 1945 the Game has been played in New Haven, Connecticut in odd years and in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in even years.
As of November 2018, 135 games have been played. Yale has 67 wins and Harvard has 60 wins (8 games ended as ties). Harvard has the longest winning streak (nine games).
|Events and tenants|
| Home of the Boston Patriots
| Home of the Boston Cannons
Football stadiums of the Ivy League
|Division championships (21)|
|Conference championships (11)|
|League championships (6)|
|Current league affiliations|
|Former league affiliation|
Championship seasons in bold
Defunct stadiums of the National Football League
†= Team's stadium under construction or refurbishment at time
1 = A team used the stadium when their permanent stadium was unable to be used as a result of damage.
|Lists by county|
|Lists by city|
|Bowls & rivalries|
|Culture & lore|
National championship seasons in bold
Sports venues in the Greater Boston area