principal home of the Philadelphia Stars in 1983 and
1984, Veterans Stadium was built over the course of
three years, finally opening its doors in April
1971. The home of baseball's Phillies and the
NFL's Eagles, the facility proved to be insufficient for
either team thanks to its "cookie cutter"
configuration, which among other things featured seven
different levels of seating.
The Vet quickly developed a notorious reputation.
The AstroTurf playing surface was so poorly laid that
many gaps and uneven patches could be found, regularly
resulting in the stadium getting the unofficial ranking
of the "NFL's worst field" in player
surveys. Players careers literally ended as a
result of the field's conditions, and on one occasion in
2001 a pre-season game between the Eagles and Baltimore
Ravens was cancelled due to the playing surface.
Also, the fans at the Vet quickly developed a reputation
for being the most obnoxious in all professional sports,
regularly hurling insults - and when available,
snowballs - at opposing players, members of their own
team, or anyone else who crossed them. The city
eventually put a miniature jail and had a municipal
court judge on hand to deal with those removed from the
stands for rowdy behavior.
None of this had an effect on the Stars, however, who
never drew exceptionally well at the Vet. After
two years the USFL's owners voted to move to a fall
schedule, and the Stars would relocate to Baltimore for
1985. The Phillies and Eagles would move on to new
facilities around the turn of the century, and on March
21, 2004 the Vet was demolished via implosion.