Before the Sixers plans for a new Center City arena sparked concerns among community leaders in Chinatown, there was opposition to another marquee sports venue.
Yes, the much-beloved and reminisced-about Veterans Stadium was once fiercely opposed by neighbors.
How did it all begin? After the A’s and the Warriors ditched Philly and moved west, then-Phillies treasurer George F. H. Harrison told the Inquirer he would move the team if a stadium wasn’t built by 1967.
The city couldn’t have a third team flee, so the Eagles and Phils signed a joint 30-year lease for a public stadium on Broad and Pattison Avenues — even though construction would require a nearly $23 million loan and voter approval.
South Philly neighborhood groups from Packer Park, East Moyamensing, and Point Breeze immediately joined together in opposition, arguing that the stadium would decrease real estate values and increase traffic.
The grassroots movement garnered some early wins: Local GOP leaders came out against the stadium plan, and the vote didn’t make the 1962 ballot. But when the question was posed to voters in 1964, they approved the loans for what would become Veterans.
For a story of sports triumph and community organizing, follow the thread below.