Veterans Memorial Stadium (Long Beach)

Last updated
Veterans Memorial Stadium
LBMemorialStadium1.jpg
LocationLew Davis St.,
Long Beach, CA
Coordinates 33°49′41.66″N118°8′10.13″W / 33.8282389°N 118.1361472°W / 33.8282389; -118.1361472 Coordinates: 33°49′41.66″N118°8′10.13″W / 33.8282389°N 118.1361472°W / 33.8282389; -118.1361472
Owner Long Beach City College
Operator Long Beach City College
Capacity 11,600
SurfaceSprinTurf
Opened1950
Tenants
Long Beach City College
California Interscholastic Federation
Long Beach State 49ers football (1955–1976,1983–1992)
Long Beach Admirals (1967)
Veterans Memorial Stadium - Opened in 1950 Veterans Memorial Stadium (Long Beach).jpg
Veterans Memorial Stadium - Opened in 1950

Veterans Memorial Stadium (also known as Veterans Stadium, Vets Stadium or simply The Vet) is an 11,600-seat stadium located south of the Liberal Arts Campus of Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California. It is the home stadium to a number of local area high school football teams, as well as Long Beach City College's football team. [1] It was also home to Long Beach State's football team until the program disbanded in 1991. [2]

Long Beach City College building in California, United States

Long Beach City College (LBCC) is a public community college in Long Beach, California. It was established in 1927 and is divided into two campuses. The Liberal Arts Campus is in Lakewood Village and the Pacific Coast Campus is in central Long Beach near Signal Hill. It is the only college in the Long Beach Community College District.

Long Beach, California City in California, United States

Long Beach is a city on the Pacific Coast of the United States, within the Los Angeles metropolitan area of Southern California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. It is the 39th most populous city in the United States and the 7th most populous in California. Long Beach is the second-largest city in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the third largest in Southern California behind Los Angeles and San Diego. Long Beach is a charter city.

The Long Beach State 49ers football team represented California State University, Long Beach from the 1955 through 1991 seasons. The 49ers originally competed as an Independent before joining the California Collegiate Athletic Association in 1958. By the 1969 season, the 49ers would join the Pacific Coast Athletic Association as a founding member, where they remained until the program was suspended following the 1991 season. Long Beach played its home games at multiple stadiums throughout their history with the most recent being Veterans Memorial Stadium, in Long Beach, California. During their 37 years of competition, the 49ers compiled an all-time record of 199 wins, 183 losses and 4 ties. Three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were associated with the program during its otherwise forgettable last two years of existence, i.e., head coaches George Allen and Willie Brown, as well as running back Terrell Davis.

Contents

The stadium is also popular as a movie set for a number of Hollywood motion pictures. [3] It also hosted the 1985 and 1988 Motorcycle Speedway World Team Cup Finals.

Hollywood Neighborhood of Los Angeles in California, United States

Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.

The Speedway World Team Cup was an annual speedway event held each year in different countries. The competition started in 1960 and was replaced with the Speedway World Cup in 2001.

History

Veterans Stadium opened in 1950, and was owned by the City of Long Beach for nearly four decades. The city used the stadium as a temporary location for Fire Station 19 (now located on Clark Avenue, a few blocks away). The fire station was housed at the south end of the stadium under the bleacher area; the large door that was installed for the fire engine to exit can still be seen. The actual "station", or living quarters area, is now used as an office for stadium personnel.

Two years before the Vet was opened, pro football came to Long Beach when the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast Professional Football League became the Long Beach Bulldogs for the 1948 season. [4] But the minor-league PCPFL was on its last legs by this time, and so were the Bulldogs—a legendary West Coast team that had fallen on hard times since the NFL Los Angeles Rams and the AAFC's Los Angeles Dons moved to town. After drawing just 850 fans for a Bulldogs game at Stephen's Field on the campus of Wilson High School in Long Beach on October 17, 1948, the team promptly cancelled the rest of their schedule, and the PCPFL folded soon after.

Los Angeles Bulldogs

The Los Angeles Bulldogs were a professional American football team that competed from 1936 to 1948. Formed with the intention of joining the National Football League in 1937, the Bulldogs were the first team on the major league level to play its home games on the American West Coast.

The Pacific Coast Professional Football League (PCPFL), also known as the Pacific Coast Football League (PCFL) and Pacific Coast League (PCL) was a professional American football league based in California. It operated from 1940 through 1948. One of the few minor American professional sports leagues that competed in the years of World War II, the PCPFL was regarded as a minor league of the highest level, particularly from 1940 to 1945, at a time in which the major National Football League did not extend further west than Chicago and Green Bay. It was also the first professional football league to have a team based in Hawaii.

Los Angeles Rams National Football League franchise in Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Rams are a professional American football team based in Los Angeles, California, and compete in the National Football League's NFC West division. The franchise won three NFL championships, and is the only one to win championships representing three different cities. The Rams play their home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Finally, in 1967, the Vet hosted a professional football team: the Long Beach Admirals were admitted to the Continental Football League as part of the league's expansion to the west coast. But the Admirals wouldn't last long: they drew only 2,475 fans for an exhibition game, then just 950 customers for their regular season opener, a 37-13 loss to the Seattle Rangers. After the disastrous gates, the team applied for an immediate transfer to Portland, Oregon; this was denied, and the Admirals sank beneath the waves.

The Long Beach Admirals were a professional American football team based in Long Beach, California. They were a member of the Continental Football League to begin the 1967 season and were part of the league's expansion to the west coast. Notably, the Admirals played just one regular season game, a 37–13 loss to the Seattle Rangers before 950 fans, before applying for an immediate transfer to Portland, Oregon. The league denied the request and revoked the Admirals franchise, opting instead to field six teams in the Pacific Division.

Continental Football League professional American football league

The Continental Football League (COFL) was a professional American football league that operated in North America from 1965 through 1969. It was established following the collapse of the original United Football League, and hoped to become the major force in professional football outside the National Football League (NFL) and the American Football League (AFL). It owed its name, at least in part, to the Continental League, a proposed third Major League Baseball organization that influenced MLB significantly.

The Seattle Rangers were a professional American football team based in Seattle, Washington. The team was founded in 1967 as a member of the Continental Football League and played in the Western Division. The original franchise name of Jets was abandoned due to a lawsuit filed by the American Football League's New York Jets. The NHL's New York Rangers reportedly pressured the team to change their name from Rangers in 1969.

In 1987, Long Beach City College acquired Veterans Stadium from the City of Long Beach, and in the 1990s, the college upgraded the stadium for use by local high school football teams. One of the most memorable football contests held at the stadium involved Long Beach Polytechnic High School and Lakewood High School, drawing over 11,500 spectators and regional television coverage. Veterans Stadium is currently the home stadium to the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits and the Los Alamitos High School Griffins.

Long Beach Polytechnic High School serving Long Beach, California

Long Beach Polytechnic High School, founded in 1895 as Long Beach High School, is a public high school located at 1600 Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach, California, United States. The school serves portions of Long Beach, including Bixby Knolls, and some parts of the cities of Signal Hill and Lakewood. Polytechnic is the flagship high school of the Long Beach Unified School District. It is a large urban high school with about 4,400 students.

Los Alamitos High School

Los Alamitos High School is a public school for grades 9 to 12 located in Los Alamitos, California, and also serving the city of Seal Beach and the community of Rossmoor. It is the only traditional high school in the Los Alamitos Unified School District; the far smaller Laurel High School serves as a continuation school and as the district office site. Both Oak Middle School and McAuliffe Middle School feed into Los Alamitos High.

Speedway

During the 1980s the stadium also doubled as a Motorcycle speedway venue. The speedway track was laid out over the stadiums existing 400 metres (440 yd) athletics track with additional banking in the corners to allow for faster racing. As well as hosting the World Team Cup Final in 1985 and 1988 (both won by Denmark with the USA finishing second), the stadium played host to numerous American Finals which were then qualifying rounds for the Speedway World Championship during the decade. Some of the riders to have raced at the stadium include Individual World Champions Bruce Penhall and Sam Ermolenko (USA), Erik Gundersen and Hans Nielsen (Denmark), Per Jonsson (Sweden) and Gary Havelock (England), as well as a host of top class riders such as Americans Shawn and Kelly Moran, Bobby Schwartz and Scott Autrey. Veterans is also the site where Dennis Sigalos ended his career with a badly broken leg following a crash in the 1984 American Final.

Motorcycle speedway motorcycle sport

Motorcycle speedway, usually referred to as speedway, is a motorcycle sport involving four and sometimes up to six riders competing over four anti-clockwise laps of an oval circuit. The motorcycles are specialist machines which use only one gear and have no brakes; racing takes place on a flat oval track usually consisting of dirt, loosely packed shale, or crushed rock. Competitors use this surface to slide their machines sideways, powersliding or broadsiding into the bends. On the straight sections of the track the motorcycles reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour (110 km/h).

Rugby League

Probably the most historically notable football contest at this stadium involved a completely different code—rugby league. In 1987, after the three regular matches in the Australian State of Origin series between the states of Queensland and New South Wales, the two teams went to Long Beach for a fourth match, drawing an announced crowd of 12,439 to see New South Wales win 30–18. The canonicity of the match has been in dispute ever since. While all Australian authorities count the match for purposes of individual player statistics, not all of them include it in official team records. Sources in New South Wales, including the Australian Rugby League and its successor, the Australian Rugby League Commission, officially count the match result; those within the Queensland Rugby League do not.

In 2004, Veterans Stadium received another upgrade. A new SprinTurf playing surface replaced the old playing surface in time for the 2004 football season.

Soccer

Veterans Memorial Stadium hosted a match in the 1958 FIFA World Cup qualification; Mexico routed the United States, 7-2, in front of 12,500.

About Veterans Stadium

The basics

Veterans Stadium seats 11,600, and are on one side of the stadium, a grandstand facing east. 7,000 of the seats are aluminum bench bleachers, with the other 4,600 seats having fixed chairbacks. The field is surrounded by a nine-lane, 400-meter track.

Location

The stadium is located on Lew Davis Street between Clark Avenue and Faculty Avenue. It is three miles west of Interstate 605 (use the Carson Street exit) and two miles north of Interstate 405 (use the Lakewood Boulevard exit or the Bellflower Boulevard exit).

Technical information

The field is open at both ends and there is a practice field on the north side and a large parking lot on the south side. There are large locker rooms for both home and visiting teams in the stadium and a smaller room for game officials. There are lights for night play using metal-halide lamps on eight towers. Veterans Stadium also features a two-level press box (capacity 100) atop the west grandstand.

Spectator amenities include 4,000 surface parking spaces, two ticket booths with two windows each, three permanent concessions, and a combined message board and scoreboard.

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References

  1. "Veterans Memorial Stadium". lbcc.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  2. Woolard, John (December 11, 1991). "Football gets sacked at CSULB". The Long Beach Press-Telegram.
  3. "Most Popular Titles With Location Matching "Veterans Memorial Stadium". imdb.com. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  4. The End of the PCPFL – Bob Gill, Pro Football Research Association (1983)