February 27, 2016
JFK Stadium was initially built in 1926, and was known as Sesquicentennial Stadium, it was built for the 150th American birthday party. After the party was over, it was given the rather dull name of Municipal Stadium. The first team to call the enormous (seating 102,000) stadium home was a pro football team called the Philadelphia Quakers. They would fold after one season, then the Frankfort Yellow Jackets would occasionally play there, and later the Eagles would call it home for 4 seasons before moving to Shibe Park. It was best known for hosting the annual Army-Navy game 41 times. In 1974, the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League would call it home.
Municipal Stadium, at the time largest stadium in the country in terms of capacity, wasn't only used for football. In 1926, a crowd of over 120,000 watched Gene Tunney defeat Jack Dempsey in the rain to win the heavyweight boxing title. In 1927, over 100,000 came in to lay eyes on America's newest hero, Charles Lindbergh, who simply did a lap around the track and then made for the exits. In 1957, a NASCAR race was held in the stadium, and it was also where the Broad Street Run ended each year.
In 1964, its name was changed to JFK Stadium, and it is perhaps best known contemporarily as a concert venue. Before the famous Live Aid concert in 1985, it also was where the Beatles held their second US concert, and Judy Garland held her final American concert. Various shows by the Rolling Stones, Peter Frampton, and Pink Floyd each resulted in over 100,000 in attendance. After a Grateful Dead concert in 1989, the stadium was condemned, and it was demolished on September 23rd, 1992. The Wells Fargo Center now stands where JFK used to.
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