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Mitchell Northam | | July 16, 2019

These are the 10 oldest stadiums in Division I college football

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The first college football game was played 150 years ago, when students from Princeton and Rutgers faced off in New Jersey.

Today, the plot of grass they played that game on has since been replaced by a gymnasium. Still, some of the sports' oldest venues live on. There are several college football stadiums across the country that are 100 or more years old.

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These stadiums have undergone renovations, expansions and clean-ups — some major and some minor — since they first opened their doors, but each of them holds a special place in the sport's history.

On the embedded Google Map below, you can find out where each stadium is located and fun facts about these old gridirons.

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Franklin Field (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) — 1895

Franklin Field has been a host for baseball, the opera, military training, soccer and a U2 concert, but it’s a football venue, first and foremost. It is the oldest college football stadium in the U.S., the site of the first game to be broadcast on radio in 1922. In addition to hosting countless Penn Quakers games, it was the site of 18 Army-Navy games.

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Harvard Stadium (Boston, Massachusetts) — 1903

Initially a gift from Harvard’s 1879 class, the stadium hosted its first football game on Nov. 14, 1903 against Dartmouth. Since then, rugby, lacrosse, soccer and ice hockey have been played in the stadium. It was the home of the New England Patriots — then the Boston Patriots of the AFL — for two seasons in 1970 and 1971.

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Kyle Field (College Station, Texas) — 1904

Edwin Jackson Kyle, a professor at Texas A&M and a graduate of the university, wanted an athletic field on campus. But Texas A&M didn’t have the funds for it at the time, so Kyle donated a plot of land on the southern edge of campus that was set aside for his horticultural experiments. He then bought and built bleachers with his own money, creating the beginnings of what is known today as Kyle Field. In 1919, Texas A&M claimed the national championship after not allowing any of its 10 opponents to score a single point. Permanent concrete structures and seating were added to Kyle Field in 1927.

Fitton Field (Worcester, Massachusetts) — 1908

The first football game played at Holy Cross took place in 1903, but Fitton Field wasn’t unveiled until Sept. 26, 1908. In 1986, its wooden stands were removed and replaces with aluminum ones. From 1935 through 1938, Holy Cross did not lose a game at home. In 2006, the movie “Game Plan” starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson filmed there.

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Bobby Dodd Stadium (Atlanta, Georgia) — 1913

Because Kyle Field was more of a field and not a concrete stadium until 1927, Bobby Dodd Stadium is technically the oldest in FBS. Originally known as Grant Field until 1988 — when the school renamed it for the legendary coach — the west stands of the stadium were built by students in 1913. It originally sat just 5,600 fans, a fraction of today’s capacity of 55,000. In addition to Georgia Tech football, Bobby Dodd has hosted bowl games and professional soccer. When it hosted Atlanta United FC games in 2017, it broke attendance records for Major League Soccer.

Davis Wade Stadium (Starkville, Mississippi) — 1914

Originally named Scott Field in honor of Olympic sprinter Don Magruder Scott, the home of the Bulldogs became Davis Wade Stadium in 2001 after he made a large donation toward the stadium’s expansion. The team’s first mascot, Bully I, was buried under the bench at the 50-yard-line in 1939.

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Yale Bowl (New Haven, Connecticut) — 1914

An estimated crowd of more than 70,000 people came to watch the first game at the Yale Bowl, including Presidents William Howard Taft and Theodore Roosevelt, but if they were Bulldogs fans, they left disappointed. Harvard won handily, 36-0. Yale fans left the stadium much happier on Oct. 5, 1929, when Yale beat Vermont 89-0. In 1973 and 1974, the New York Giants played their home games at the Yale Bowl.

Vaught-Hemingway Stadium (Oxford, Mississippi) — 1915

Named for Judge William Hemingway, a professor and chairman of athletics at the school, and John Howard Vaught, who won 190 games and three national titles at Ole Miss, the stadium has been in the same site since 1915, when grandstands were built. A permanent foundation was built in 1939 and capacity increased to 24,000 by 1941. In 2016, 66,176 fans turned out to see Ole Miss take on Alabama.

Nippert Stadium (Cincinnati, Ohio) — 1915

Cincinnati began playing football at the site in 1901, but construction on Nippert Stadium didn’t begin until 1915 and wasn’t fully completed until 1924. The stadium is named after Jimmy Nippert, who died after an injury suffered in a 1923 game against Miami (Ohio). His grandfather provided funds needed to complete the stadium’s construction. Two U.S. Presidents — Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama — have spoken at Nippert.

Camp Randall Stadium (Madison, Wisconsin) — 1917

Built on land that was originally used to train Wisconsin troops during the Civil War, Camp Randall Stadium hosted its first game on Nov. 3, 1917, which saw the Badgers beat Minnesota 10-7. In 2004, the stadium saw an average attendance per-game of 82,368 fans.

Mitchell Northam is a graduate of Salisbury University. His work has been featured at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Orlando Sentinel, SB Nation, FanSided, USA Today and the Delmarva Daily Times. He grew up on Maryland's Eastern Shore and is now based in Durham, N.C.

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