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Concert Venues :: John F. Kennedy Stadium


Now Known As
Date Opened 1925
Venue Capacity 110,000
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John F. Kennedy Stadium (or JFK Stadium, originally known as Philadelphia Municipal Stadium) was an open-air stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that stood from 1925 to 1992. Designed by the architectural firm of Simon & Simon, the style was classic 1920s', consisting of a horseshoe surrounding a track and football field, with bleachers at the open end. It was 710 feet across and 1,020 feet long. It was built on a 13.5 acre tract and made of concrete, stone, and brick. The stadium once sat 100,000 to 110,000 people, but in later years had a capacity of about 75,000. The stadium was in South Philadelphia along Broad Street.

In one sense, it was decades ahead of its time, because all of the city's professional sports teams' facilities are now located in that area.

It was constructed in time for the 1926 Sesquicentennial International Exposition. It hosted the first Gene Tunney versus Jack Dempsey heavyweight boxing match in which Tunney won the championship and a light-heavyweight boxing match between Georges Carpentier and Tommy Loughran.

The stadium was known chiefly as the site of the annual Army-Navy games from 1946 to 1979 and during the 1960s served as the home field for Navy when they played Notre Dame. It also hosted concerts from time to time, notably the American portion of Live Aid on July 13, 1985. Notable music groups to play at the stadium include U2, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Yes, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Genesis, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead. Led Zeppelin was set to end their 1977 U.S. Tour at the stadium, but cancelled the remaining 7 shows on the tour following the sudden passing of Robert Plant's son. Journey recorded a concert here in 1983. The Philadelphia Eagles football team played here from 1936 to 1939. The stadium was also home to the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League of 1974 to 1975.

After years of poor maintenance, the stadium was condemned on July 13, 1989 by Mayor Wilson Goode. A concert on July 7 by the Grateful Dead was the last public event held at the stadium. It was demolished in 1992. The Wachovia Center now stands on the site.

Among the other history making events held at JFK stadium was the US portion of the LIVE AID concert to aid African famine relief in July 1985. It was first known as Sesquicentennial Stadium. Undefeated Rocky Marciano knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott there in 1952 to win the World's Heavyweight championship.

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