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The old Downing Stadium on Randall's Island


Downing Stadium, previously known as Triborough Stadium and Randall's Island Stadium, was a 22,000-seat football stadium in New York Citymarker. It was renamed Downing Stadium in 1955 after John J. Downing, a director at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Built on Randall's Islandmarker in the East Rivermarker as a WPA project, 15,000 attendees witnessed Jesse Owens compete at Randall's Island Stadium in the Olympic Trials on July 11, 1936, the opening night of the new facility. Downing Stadium also hosted the Women's Olympic Trials in 1964.

Triborough Stadium served as one of two home stadia of the football New York Yankees of the second AFL (along with Yankee Stadiummarker) in 1936 and 1937; about four decades later, Downing Stadium became the home of the New York Stars of the WFL in 1974, and the New York Cosmos of the NASL in 1975 (for years after the Cosmos played there, the words "COSMOS SOCCER" remained on the stadium to be seen from the nearby highway viaduct on the Triborough Bridgemarker).

The stadium was also used for some Negro League baseball games in the 1930s and was the site when the United States played Scotland in soccer in 1949.The stadium also played host to the All Blacks several times, in the course of larger tours to Europe. They last played a New York Metropolitan selection in October 1972, beating their hosts 41-9.

After Downing Stadium stopped being a major sports venue it was occasionally used as a venue for rock concerts such as Pearl Jam and Tibetan Freedom Concert. The stadium was torn down in 2002 in order to be replaced by a newer complex, Icahn Stadiummarker, which was completed in 2004. The stadium lights, which were taken from Ebbets Fieldmarker after it was torn down, were left in place to light the new field.

The site was considered for a 48,000 capacity soccer specific stadium, based on the design of the City of Manchester Stadiummarker, had the New York City bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics been successful. The plan was shelved when New York lost out to Londonmarker.

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