Downing Memorial Stadium

Published on June 24, 2009, 7:54 pm
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Downing Stadium, previously known as Triborough Stadium and Randall’s Island Stadium, was a 22,000-seat football stadium in the city of New York. Built in 1934 on Randall’s Island in the East River as a WPA project.

It served as one of two home stadia of the football New York Yankees of the second AFL (along with Yankee Stadium) in 1936 and 1937; about four decades later, Downing Stadium became the home of the New York Stars of the WFL in 1974, and the New York Cosmos of the NASL in 1975 (for years after the Cosmos played there, the words “COSMOS SOCCER” remained on the stadium to be seen from the nearby highway). It was also used for some Negro League baseball games in the 1930s and was the site when the United States played Scotland in soccer in 1949. The stadium also played host to the All Blacks several times, in the course of larger tours to Europe. They last played a New York Metropolitan selection in October 1972 beating their hosts 41-9.

After it stopped being a major sports venue it was occasionally used as a venue for rock concerts such as Pearl Jam and Tibetan Freedom Concert. The stadium was torn down in 2002 in order to be replaced by a newer complex, Icahn Stadium, which was completed in 2004. The stadium lights, which were taken from Ebbets Field after it was torn down, were left in place to light the new field.

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