American Football Wiki
Harvard Stadium
Soldiers Field
Location 95 N Harvard St
Boston, MA 02134
Broke ground July, 1903
Opened November 14, 1903
Owner Harvard University
Operator Harvard University
Surface FieldTurf 2006 to present
Grass 1903 to 2005
Construction cost $310,000
Architect Prof. Louis J. Johnson, Class of 1887
Tenants Harvard Crimson (NCAA) (1903-Present)
Boston Patriots (NFL) (1970)
Games of the XXIII Olympiad - Football (1984)
Boston Cannons (MLL) (2007-Present)
Boston Breakers (WPS) (2009- )
Capacity 30,323 (current)
57,166 (maximum)

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Harvard Stadium is a horseshoe-shaped football stadium in the Allston neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts that serves as the home field for the Harvard Crimson of the NCAA FCS Ivy League. Built in 1903, the stadium seats 30,323.[2] The stadium seated up to 57,166 in the past, as temporary steel stands (completing a straight-sided oval) stood in the north end zone until 1951. Afterwards, there were smaller temporary stands until the building of the Murr Center (which is topped by the new scoreboard) in 1998.


Harvard's stadium was constructed on 31 acres of land known as Soldiers Field gifted to Harvard by Henry Lee Higginson in 1890. Completed in just four and a half months, the structure cost $310,000. Much of the funds raised came from a 25th Reunion gift by Harvard's Class of 1879. It is the home of the football team of Harvard University, whose all-time record (at the end of the 2009 season) at the stadium is 423-221-34 (.649). The stadium also hosted the Crimson track and field teams until 1984 and was the home of the Boston Patriots during the 1970 season. It is also the host of music festivals like the Amandla Festival, where Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley performed a historic concert in 1979. Janis Joplin performed her last show at the stadium in 1970, shortly before her death. During the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles, the stadium hosted several football preliminaries.[3] In 2007, the Boston Cannons, a professional lacrosse team for Major League Lacrosse, moved their home site to the stadium. They previously played at Boston University's Nickerson Field.[4]

In 2006, Harvard installed both FieldTurf and lights[5] allowing it to become the home stadium of the Boston Cannons. On September 22, 2007, Harvard played its first night game at the stadium, against Brown University, winning 24–17.

Beginning on April 11, 2009, Harvard Stadium became the home field of the Boston Breakers of the Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) league when they beat Saint Louis Athletica 2-0.

Lewis Jerome Johnson, Prof. Civil Engineering, Harvard University, was a consultant to the design team for the Harvard Stadium. It is historically significant that this stadium represents the first vertical concrete structure to employ reinforced structural concrete. Prior to the erection of the stadium in 1902, reinforced structural concrete was used in horizontal, that is flooring, sidewalks, etc., design only. Prof. Johnson was the engineer of note responsible for incorporating the concept into the vertical structure of the stadium design. (There is a plaque dedicating the stadium to his honor on the east end wall outside the stadium.)


File:Harvard stadium 2009h.JPG

The stadium in 2009

Although most of Harvard's campus is in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the stadium and most other intercollegiate athletic facilities, along with Harvard Business School, lie across the Charles River in the nearby Allston section of Boston. The stadium is the cornerstone of the Soldiers Field athletic complex, which also includes the baseball stadium, outdoor track, an artificial turf field hockey/lacrosse field, two soccer stadiums, pools, Beren Tennis Center (outdoor), the Gordon Indoor Track, Dillon Fieldhouse, Lavietes Pavilion and Bright Hockey Center. Newell Boathouse, home of Harvard's men's crew, lies across Soldiers Field Road on the banks of the Charles.


See also[]


  1. Lisa Kennelly, Extreme Makeover: Harvard Stadium, Harvard Crimson April 13, 2006.
  3. 1984 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. Part 1. pp. 129-31.
  4. Malcom A. Glenn, Improved Stadium Scores Pro Team, Harvard Crimson, February 23, 2007.
  5. September 20, 2008.

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