Veterans Stadium

From BR Bullpen

Home of the Philadelphia Phillies, 1971 to 2003

Capacity: 62,536 (final), 56,371 (original)

Also known as: The Vet

Dimensions: 330-371-408-371-330

Location: 3501 Broad Street (at Pattison), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tenants: Philadelphia Phillies, 1971-2003. Also hosted the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), Philadelphia Stars (USFL) and Philadlephia Fury (NASL).

Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia was a classic multipurpose stadium in the same design as Riverfront Stadium and Three Rivers Stadium. It was an octorad in shape that resembled a concrete ashtray. The turf was also vilified as "green concrete".

Veterans Stadium, 1999

Ground for the Vet was broken on October 2, 1967. The stadium was dedicated in a ceremony on April 4, 1971. The first event was Opening Day, 1971 against the Montreal Expos.

Veterans Stadium played host to two All-Star Games (1976 and 1996) and three World Series (1980, 1983 and 1993). The Phillies won their only World Series title in Veterans Stadium on October 21, 1980. During these postseason games, the ballpark hosted some of the largest crowds in recent memory: 67,064 attended Game 5 of the 1983 World Series, and another 8 postseason games from 1980 to 1983 had an attendance above 64,000.

Six former Phillies players from the era when the ballpark was their home later died of brain tumors. It has been speculated that the ballpark was to blame, because glioblastomas, as this type of cancer is called, is relatively rare and the occurrence among former Phillies players was three times the average. Decades later, dangerous "permanent" chemicals were found in remains of the astroturf that had been used in the ballpark, after tests performed at the behest of the Philadelphia Inquirer. However the link between such chemicals and the rare cancers has not been formally established.

When the Phillies moved to Citizens Bank Park, the Vet was imploded on March 21, 2004. The site is now used as a parking lot for Citizens Bank Park.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Aaron McDade (Business Insider): "Dangerous 'forever chemicals' were found in turf at the Philadelphia Phillies' old stadium after six former players died of same cancer, investigation finds", Yahoo! News, March 9, 2023. [1]
  • Rich Westcott: Veterans Stadium, Field of Memories, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, PA, 2005.