Famous Multipurpose MLB Stadiums

Adam Rothstein
3 min readJun 12, 2024

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New York City FC outline plans for Yankee Stadium’s baseball-to-soccer conversion

The MLB is the oldest professional sports organization of the Big Five sports. Many MLB stadiums back in the day were ‘cookie cutter’ or ashtray design stadiums. Many MLB stadiums have shared their facilities with an NFL team. Some have even hosted soccer games. MLB stadiums have also hosted many concerts in their long history.

RFK Stadium (Robert F. Kennedy Stadium) has had many different kinds of events compared to most other stadiums. RFK Stadium, in its long history, has hosted two MLB teams, one NFL team, and an MLS team. RFK opened on October 1st, 1961. The first event hosted at the stadium was an NFL game between the home Washington Redskins and rival New York Giants. RFK has hosted many notable concerts, such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller concert in 1984 and the Fab Five Farewell concert in 1966. On June 29th, 1975, over 35,000 fans attended what was the largest soccer crowd at the time in North American Soccer League history. Pelé and the New York Cosmos beat the Washington Diplomats 9–2. RFK was a marvel of engineering in its day. It was one of the few stadiums that hosted many types of events and used to the fullest extent.

The Oakland Collesium is currently on its final breath. Having hosted both the Raiders and the Athletics for decades, this stadium was once one of the best in all pro sports. In its earlier days, you could see Mount Davis from the home plate stands. The Ariel view was one of the most beautiful of the 1970s. The Oakland Collesium has multiple World Series and Superbowls. In addition to MLB and NFL games, the stadium has hosted a number of notable soccer games. The Collesium was home to the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer in 2008–2009. The Collesium also hosted games of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Philadelphia is home to many memorable stadiums. Veterans Stadium Opened on April 10th, 1971. Both the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles played there for 30-plus years. This stadium design represented most NFL/MLB stadiums of the 1970s and 1980s. Transitioning from football to baseball was easy. However, the sight lines for most fans were not optimal. Many fans were far away from the action for both MLB and NFL games. Veterans Stadium also hosted soccer games. Veterans Stadium also served as the home field for the Philadelphia Atoms and the Philadelphia Fury. Both teams played in the North American Soccer League. On April 1st, 1978, the Fury attracted 18,191 fans to their opener at the stadium, where they were defeated 3–0 by the Washington Diplomats. In the 1978 NASL season, the Fury averaged 8,279 fans per match, which dropped to 5,624 in 1979 and 4,778 in 1980. The club relocated to Montreal for the 1981 NASL season. Veterans Stadium is arguably the most famous stadium in Philadelphia.

Yankee Stadium is the only MLB stadium that is still being used as a multipurpose stadium. That can be surprising to most sports fans. Other than the main attraction, the New York Yankees, the New York City FC (NYCFC) has their home soccer matches there. The stadium transitions from a baseball field to a soccer field. Part of the soccer field is over the dirt of the infield. Other than hosting multiple World Series, Yankee Stadium has hosted many concerts and watch parties.

Tropicana Field was built on March 3rd, 1990. It was the last dome stadium that didn’t have a retractable roof. Tropicana Field was built before there was an MLB team in St. Petersburg Florida. Aside from hosting the Rays/Devil Rays for baseball, it hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning for their first few seasons and Stanley Cup Playoff games. Another notable event that Tropicana Field hosted was the regional final site for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1998. In 1999, Tropicana Field hosted the Final Four for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. There have been many concerts, wrestling events, and motorsports events at Tropicana. While this stadium is getting old by stadium standards, it has hosted more types of events than most stadiums ever will.

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