|Location||81 Central Avenue, New Haven, CT 06515|
|Broke ground||August, 1913|
|Opened||November 21, 1914|
|Architect||Charles A. Ferry (Class of 1871); Sperry Engineering Co.|
|Tenants||Yale Bulldogs (NCAA) (1914-present)|
New York Giants (NFL) (1973-1974)
Connecticut Bicentennials (NASL) (1976-1977)
1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games
The Yale Bowl is a football stadium in New Haven, Connecticut on the border of West Haven, about 1-1/2 miles west of Yale's main campus. Completed in 1914, the stadium seats 61,446 - reduced by renovations from the original capacity of 70,869. It is home to the Yale Bulldogs of the Ivy League, and also hosted the New York Giants of the National Football League from 1973-1974 while the original Yankee Stadium was being renovated and Giants Stadium was under construction. It is currently the third-largest stadium by capacity in the second tier of college football, NCAA Division I FCS, and the largest actually owned by the school itself (Georgia State University, which uses the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and Tennessee State University, who plays at LP Field in Nashville, rent larger stadiums used by NFL teams in their home cities).
Ground was broken on the stadium in August 1913. It was built by excavating the field area and then building up a berm around the perimeter with the excavated earth to create an elliptical bowl. It was the first bowl-shaped stadium in the country, and provided inspiration for the design of such stadiums as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Rose Bowl, and Michigan Stadium. Through its inspiration of the Rose Bowl stadium, its name is also the origin of college football's bowl games. The current scoreboard (notable for the time clock being arranged vertically instead of horizontally) was added in 1958, and in 1986 the current press box was added. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
The facility was designed to partially echo the campus's neogothic design. As such, parts of the façade were treated with acid to imitate the effects of aging, a procedure that has instead required constant upkeep and renovation to prevent deterioration. As of summer, 2005, many of the outside retaining walls and portal entries were deteriorating as a result. However, in the spring and summer of 2006, the bowl underwent a partial renovation, which was finished just in time for the Yale home-opener on Saturday, September 16, 2006.
During the 1970s, the "Bowl" hosted several concerts. The Grateful Dead played a notable show here on July 31, 1971 which was released as Road Trips Volume 1 Number 3. The June 14, 1980 concert featuring the Eagles, Heart, and The Little River Band proved to be the final concert for the venue, as opposition from neighbors became increasingly vehement. A picture from this final show can be seen in packaging of the vinyl edition of the Eagles double live album, issued later that year, though no recordings from the event are included on the discs. A planned Paul McCartney concert was scheduled for June 1990, but because of neighborhood opposition the New Haven show was cancelled and the date was rescheduled for Chicago.
On Friday, October 5, 2001, the closing ceremony of the Yale Tercentennial was held at the Yale Bowl. Guests included Tom Wolfe '57, William F. Buckley '50, Sesame Street's Big Bird, Paul Simon '96, and Garry Trudeau '70.
The Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, home to the annual ATP/WTA event (the Pilot Pen tournament), is located across Yale Avenue from the stadium.
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- James H. Charleton (December, 1985). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Yale Bowl. National Park Service. and Accompanying aerial photo, from 1985