Headlines of Yore

Stadium deja vu? Remembering the opposition to the long gone Veterans Stadium

The former home of the Eagles and Phillies made South Philly neighbors bristle in the 1960s, when the stadium’s future relied on an election.

Stadiums

Stadiums

Google Earth
aviwolfmanarent

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.

Want some more? Explore other Headlines of Yore stories.

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?