Roosevelt Stadium
Roosevelt Stadium was a baseball park at Droyer's Point in Jersey City, New Jersey. It opened in April 1937 and was demolished in 1985.


On June 5, 1929, Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague announced his plans to construct a 50,000-seat municipal stadium in Jersey City to surround a field 500 feet long by 400 feet wide, that would be dedicated to the memory of the city's war dead. It was expected to cost $500,000 and be built by Spring 1930. Mayor Hague planned for the stadium to have 35,000 permanent seats with ground space for an additional 15,000. It would be a multi-purpose stadium for baseball, football, track and field events, and boxing. Roosevelt Stadium was finally built in 1937, as a Works Progress Administration project on the grounds of what was the Jersey City Airport at Droyer's Point. The airport was operated by Eddie August Schneider starting in 1935. It was named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the author of that New Deal agency. It was designed in Art Deco style. The ballpark's opening was scheduled for April 22, 1937 with the opening of the 1937 International League season. Mayor Hague declared a half-holiday for the city's schools and employees. New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham was expected at the opener along with Senator Harry Moore. Rain washed out the planned events and the opening was moved back to April 23 with Mayor Hague throwing out the first pitch and Sen. Moore and owner Horace Stoneham on hand for the ballpark's dedication.

Initially constructed as a home field for Jersey City's International League affiliate of the New York Giants, the stadium later saw its most common use for high school football, as Jersey City's William L. Dickinson, James J. Ferris, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Snyder high schools and the city's major parochial schools, Hudson Catholic and St. Peter's Prep, all used the stadium, particularly on Thanksgiving Day, when Dickinson and St. Peter's would sell it out. It was the site, in September 1973, of the game that set the New Jersey state record for consecutive losses by a high school football team, when Dickinson High School lost to Hudson Catholic by the score of 22-0. It was used for seven "home" games, one against each team in the National League at the time, by the Brooklyn Dodgers during their last couple of seasons in Brooklyn, 1956 and 1957, in part as a negotiating tactic with the Borough of Brooklyn, in pursuit of a new stadium to replace Ebbets Field. While it had just 24,000 seats as opposed to Ebbets Field's 31,497, Roosevelt Stadium had 10,000 parking spaces compared to Ebbets Field's 700. The Dodgers' negotiation came to naught, and the team moved to Los Angeles, California in 1958. It was also the home field of the Jersey City Giants, a farm team of the New York Giants in the Triple-A International League from 1937 to 1950, the Jersey City Jerseys of the IL in 1960 and 1961, the Jersey City Indians of the Double-A Eastern League in 1977 and, following a change in minor-league affiliation, the Jersey City A's of the EL in 1978. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium hosted the Jersey City Giants' season opener against the Montreal Royals, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson made four hits, including a three-run homer, scored four runs and drove in three; he also stole two bases in the Royals 14-1 victory. The Giants finished first in the IL in 1939 and 1947, but no Jersey City team ever went on to win a pennant in postseason play. Hague routinely hawked opening day tickets for "Little Giants" games, selling 40,000 seats in a stadium that held only 24,000. When asked about the discrepancy, he was reported to have said, "Hell of a crowd in the Men's Rooms." In 1940, former heavyweight champion Max Baer beat "Two Ton Tony" Galento at Roosevelt Stadium, and Marcel Cerdan defeated Tony Zale in a middleweight fight. In 1950, Sugar Ray Robinson defended his welterweight title; in 1951, Jersey Joe Walcott beat heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles.

The stadium saw sporadic use as a music venue during its final years of existence. Most notably, the Grateful Dead employed the space as one of their principal Metropolitan New York venues in the mid 1970s after the demise of the Fillmore East, performing at the stadium six times between 1972 and 1976. The Allman Brothers Band; The Band; The Beach Boys; KISS; Eric Clapton; Pink Floyd; Tony Bennett; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; and Emerson, Lake & Palmer also performed at the stadium.

In November 1982, the Jersey City City Council voted to demolish the stadium. It was finally demolished in 1985, and a gated community named Society Hill opened on the site in 1987.

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