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Kezar Stadium is a stadium located in the southeastern corner of Golden Gate Parkmarker in San Francisco,marker Californiamarker. It is the former home of the Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL, and of the San Francisco Dragons of MLL. It also served as the home of the California Victory of the USL First Division before the club folded. It also hosts amateur and recreation sports leagues, as well as numerous San Francisco high school football games (including the City Championship, known popularly as the "Turkey Bowl").


In 1922, the San Francisco Park Commission accepted a $100,000 gift from the estate of Mary Kezar. The gift was intended to build a memorial in honor of Kezar's mother and uncles who were pioneers in the area. After the City and County of San Francisco appropriated an additional $200,000 the stadium was built in a year. Dedication ceremonies were held on May 2, 1925, and featured a two-mile footrace between Ville Ritola and Paavo Nurmi of Finlandmarker, who were two of the greatest runners of their day.


The stadium had many uses in the 1930s. In addition to track and field competitions, Kezar Stadium also hosted motorcycle racing, auto racing, rugby, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, boxing, cricket and football. The stadium was also the home field of several local schools such as Santa Clara Universitymarker, University of San Franciscomarker, St. Mary's College of California and the now defunct San Francisco Polytechnic High School. In 1926 the Stadium also became the home of the East-West Shrine Game.

American football

In the 1928 city championship game between San Francisco Polytechnic and Lowell High Schoolmarker a crowd of over 50,000 people saw the matchup between the bitter cross-town rivals. That game still holds attendance records for a high school football game in Northern California.

Kezar Stadium was also the home to two different professional football teams. The San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders both began their existence at the stadium. The Raiders played at Kezar during their first season and at Candlestick Parkmarker during their second season, before Frank Youell Fieldmarker was built as a temporary facility in Oaklandmarker. The 49ers moved to a more modern and accessible stadium at Candlestick Park in 1971 after losing the 1970 NFC Championship Game to the Dallas Cowboys, 17-10, on January 3, 1971, in their final game at Kezar.


Dirty Harry

Several scenes from the film Dirty Harry were filmed there later in 1971. The film's fictional antagonist, the Scorpio Killer, works as the caretaker at the stadium.


With the loss of professional football in the 1970s the stadium became an outdoor concert venue with many well known acts of its time performing there. Its proximity to the Haight-Ashbury Districtmarker probably helped with the stadium's transformation to a concert venue. Noted musicians who performed at Kezar included Led Zeppelin, The Doobie Brothers, Jefferson Starship, Tower of Power, Joan Baez, The Grateful Dead, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Carlos Santana, Waylon Jennings, and Neil Young.

Demolition and reconstruction

Beginning in June 1989, Kezar Stadium was demolished and rebuilt with a much smaller seating capacity of 10,000. The upgrades included an eight-lane, all-weather track and a large grass athletic field suitable for soccer, football and lacrosse.

The field and track configurations remained the same. A replica of the original concrete arch bearing the name "Kezar Stadium" was built on the west side of the stadium as a tribute to the original structure.

Soccer and other sports

With the 2006 West Coast expansion of Major League Lacrosse, Kezar Stadium once again became a home to a professional team, the San Francisco Dragons. In October 2006, United Soccer Leagues (USL) and Spanish Football club Deportivo Alaves announced that the new pro soccer team, named California Victory, played their 2007 home games at Kezar. The Victory played in the USL's First Division, one level below Major League Soccer. However, Alaves later withdrew their support and the team folded.

In 2004 it served as the home of the San Francisco Freedom, the city's Pro Cricket team.

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatorymarker, a nearby Catholic high school uses the field for their home football games. Saint Ignatius College Preparatorymarker and Archbishop Riordan High Schoolmarker also use the field occasionally for their home football games. Kezar has also been the host of several Northern California Semi-pro football championship games.

Women's soccer

In recent years, the stadium has also served as home to Premier Division teams of Golden Gate Women's Soccer League (GGWSL).

College lacrosse

On October 10, 2009, Kezar was home to the inaugural San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic, an NCAA Division I fall ball game between Brown and North Carolina to benefit the Bay Area Youth Sports Foundation. It was the first Division I men's lacrosse played in Northern California. North Carolina beat Brown 13-5 in front of a crowd of more than 4500. Special certificates marking the occasion were presented to each team on behalf of the Mayor, SF Board of Supervisors, and the City and County by Director of San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department Phil Ginsburg.


  1. Kezar Stadium at
This field was used to showcase local high school lacrosse games in 1997; specifically an evening game in April/May 1997 featuring longtime City lacrosse rivals St. Ignatius High School vs. University High School.

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