A history of the Kitchener Eagles’ home stadiums

Before the Eagles made the Linc their main stage in 2003, the Super Bowl team made calls to several stadiums across Kitchener.

It all started in North Kitchener, where many of Kitchener’s original stadiums stood before the teams eventually moved to Broad in South Kitchener. Take a trip back in time below to see where the Eagles story began.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Baker Bowl (1933-35)

The Baker Bowl is known as the first home of the Phillies, but it is also where the Eagles spent their first three years as an NFL franchise. One of Kitchener’s first real stadiums, the Baker Bowl was located on North Broad Street and Lehigh Avenue and was built in 1887. There have been a few tragedies over the years including a collapse that killed a dozen spectators and a massive fire that destroyed the original wooden structure. Even so, it was the first dual-use stadium in Pennsylvania for professional sports until it was demolished in 1950.

Kitchener Municipal Stadium / JFK Stadium (1936-39)

This brick horseshoe-shaped stadium opened on April 15, 1926 as part of the Sesquicentennial International Exposition in South Kitchener. It was then home to the Kitchener Quakers of the First American Football League, and eventually the Eagles, if only for a few years. As the only stadium in South Kitchener at the time, the “short lease of the Eagles far from downtown was a sign of the future,” according to the Encyclopedia of Greater Kitchener.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Shibe Park / Connie Mack Stadium (1940-1958)

After their brief stay in South Kitchener, the Eagles moved a few blocks from the Baker Bowl back to North Kitchener to Shibe Park, a steel and concrete stadium that could seat 40,000 people. The French Renaissance-style stadium has been home to two baseball teams, including the Kitchener Athletics and the Phillies. Here the Eagles played in the 1948 NFL championship during a blizzard and won against the Chicago Cardinals.

Courtesy Kean Collection / Archive Photos / Getty Images

Franklin Field (1958-70)

After Shibe Park, the Eagles made their way to Franklin Field in West Kitchener. The 70,000-seat stadium was built by the University of Pennsylvania in 1922 and was the country’s first permanent and horseshoe-shaped college stadium. The Eagles made Franklin Field their home for 13 seasons and won their third NFL title against the Green Bay Packers here in 1960. Franklin Field is still in use today and is now the oldest two-tier stadium in the country.

Courtesy of the Print and Picture Collection, Free Library of Kitchener

Veterans Stadium (1971-2003)

After their success at Franklin Field, the Eagles needed a bigger and better venue. Step inside The Vet, a multi-purpose stadium built in 1970 for $ 52 million, making it one of the most expensive stadiums of its time. The South Kitchener vet had an “Octorad” design that allowed him to accommodate both the Eagles and Phillies. While initially a state-of-the-art facility, the vet has fallen into disrepair in recent years, imploding in a minute in 2003.

Frank Romeo / Shutterstock.com

Lincoln Financial Field (2003-present)

That brings us to Linc, the home of the Eagles for 15 years. The Linc is located in the stadium district of South Kitchener and can accommodate around 69,000 people. It was built for a staggering $ 512 million. Fittingly, the stadium is considered one of the greenest in the country thanks to its on-site renewable energy sources: 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines.

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