Yale Bowl
Aerial view of the stadium in 2023
Location81 Central Avenue
New Haven, Connecticut
Coordinates41°18′47″N 72°57′36″W / 41.313°N 72.960°W / 41.313; -72.960
Public transitBus transport 255
OwnerYale University
OperatorYale University
Capacity61,446 (2006–present)

Former capacity:

    • 64,246 (1994–2005)
    • 70,896 (1914–1993)
SurfaceNatural Grass (1914–2018)
Field Turf (2019–present)
Broke groundAugust 1913
OpenedNovember 21, 1914 (1914-11-21)
110 years ago
Construction costUS$750,000
($21.9 million in 2022[1])
ArchitectCharles A. Ferry
(Class of 1871)
Yale Bulldogs (NCAA) (1914–present)
New York Giants (NFL) (1973–1974)
Connecticut Bicentennials (NASL)
Yale Bowl
Yale Bowl is located in Connecticut
Yale Bowl
Yale Bowl is located in the United States
Yale Bowl
Coordinates41°18′47″N 72°57′38″W / 41.31306°N 72.96056°W / 41.31306; -72.96056
ArchitectCharles A. Ferry;
Sperry Engineering Co.
NRHP reference No.87000756
Significant dates
Added to NRHPFebruary 27, 1987 [2]
Designated NHLFebruary 27, 1987 [3]

The Yale Bowl Stadium is a college football stadium in the northeast United States, located in New Haven, Connecticut, on the border of West Haven, about 1½ miles (2½ km) west of the main campus of Yale University. The home of the American football Yale Bulldogs team of the Ivy League, it opened in 1914 with 70,896 seats; renovations have reduced its current capacity to 61,446, still making it the second largest FCS stadium, behind Tennessee State's Nissan Stadium.

The Yale Bowl Stadium inspired the design and naming of the Rose Bowl, from which is derived the name of college football's post-season games (bowl games) and the NFL's Super Bowl.

In 1973 and 1974, the stadium hosted the New York Giants of the National Football League, as Yankee Stadium was renovated into a baseball-only venue and Giants Stadium was still in the planning and construction stages; the team was able to move to Shea Stadium in 1975.


Yale v Harvard game at Yale Field, 1908 (predecessor stadium to Yale Bowl)

Ground was broken on the stadium in August 1913. Fill excavated from the field area was used to build up a berm around the perimeter to create an elliptical bowl. The facade was designed to partially echo the campus's Neo-Gothic design, and, as with some central campus buildings, acid was applied to imitate the effects of aging.

Yale Bowl in 1924
View of the stadium in 2005

It was the first bowl-shaped stadium in the country, and inspired the design of such stadiums as the Rose Bowl, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and Michigan Stadium. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987 for its role in football history.[3][4]

The Yale Bowl's designer, Charles A. Ferry, for unknown reasons chose not to include locker rooms (or restrooms).[5] Players dress in the Smilow Field Center and walk 200 yards (185 m) to the field. When the NFL's Giants played at the stadium (1973, 1974), the pro players disliked the arrangement, but Yale players reportedly enjoy the walk. Fans cheer for the team as it marches to the stadium while the Yale Band plays, a tradition known as the "Bulldog Walk."[6]

The Bowl's first game, on November 21, 1914, drew more than 68,000 spectators,[7] who watched the Bulldogs lose 36–0 to rival Harvard.[5][8]

In 1958, a new scoreboard was installed; its distinctive clock was arranged vertically instead of horizontally.

During the 1970s, the Bowl hosted several concerts. In 1971, Yes performed on July 24 and the Grateful Dead on July 31, a recording of which was released as Road Trips Volume 1 Number 3. But neighborhood opposition to the concerts brought them to an end after a June 14, 1980, show featuring the Eagles, Heart, and The Little River Band. A picture from the show was published with the vinyl edition of the Eagles double live album, issued later that year, though no recordings from the event are included on the discs. A Paul McCartney concert was scheduled for June 1990, but cancelled amid neighbors' opposition; the show was moved to Chicago.

The stadium has hosted many soccer matches over the years; it served as home field for the Connecticut Bicentennials of the North American Soccer League during the 1976 and 1977 seasons. Yale Bowl was mulled as a possible playing site when the United States hosted the World Cup in 1994, but lost out to Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts and Giants Stadium in New Jersey.[9]

In 1991, the Bowl's vicinity saw the addition of the Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, home to the annual ATP/WTA event (the Pilot Pen tournament), across Yale Avenue from the stadium.

On October 5, 2001, the closing ceremony of the Yale Tercentennial was held at the Yale Bowl. Guests included Tom Wolfe '57, William F. Buckley '50, Sesame Street's Big Bird, Paul Simon '96 Hon, and Garry Trudeau '70.

By the 21st century, many of the outside retaining walls and portal entries were deteriorating. In the spring and summer of 2006, the bowl received a partial renovation, including a new scoreboard. The work was completed just in time for the first home game of the Yale football team's season on September 16.

The annual game between Yale and its rival Harvard, known locally as The Game, is held at the Yale Bowl every other year. In 2023, its attendance was over 51,000.[10]

Panoramic view of Yale Bowl. Scoreboard at left. Yale/Cornell football game, September 28, 2019. The "147" stands for the number of Yale football seasons (and teams) until that point.




The New York Giants of the National Football League won just one of the dozen home games they played in New Haven in the 1973 and 1974 seasons. (With the exception of the games played with replacement teams during the 1987 NFL strike and the COVID-19-disrupted 2020 season, the attendance at the final game at the Yale Bowl is the smallest at a Giants' home game since 1955.) The team also played preseason games in the stadium, including the first ever game against its future rival and stadium share partner, the New York Jets, in 1969.[11]

Date Home Opponent Score Attendance
October 7, 1973 New York Giants Green Bay Packers 16–14 70,050
October 14, 1973 New York Giants Washington Redskins 21–3 70,168
November 11, 1973 New York Giants Dallas Cowboys 23–10 70,128
November 18, 1973 New York Giants St. Louis Cardinals 24–13 65,795
December 16, 1973 New York Giants Minnesota Vikings 31–7 70,041
September 15, 1974 New York Giants Washington Redskins 13–10 49,849
September 22, 1974 New York Giants New England Patriots 28–20 44,082
October 6, 1974 New York Giants Atlanta Falcons 14–7 42,379
October 27, 1974 New York Giants Dallas Cowboys 21–7 57,381
November 10, 1974 New York Giants New York Jets 26–20OT 64,327
November 24, 1974 New York Giants St. Louis Cardinals 23–21 40,615
December 8, 1974 New York Giants Philadelphia Eagles 20–7 21,170



Date Teams Attendance
May 31, 1976 Brazil  4-1  Italy 36,096
May 31, 1992 Italy  0-0  Portugal 38,833
June 6, 1993 United States  0-2  Brazil 44,579
May 28, 1994 United States  1-1  Greece 21,317
June 10, 1994 Italy  1-0  Costa Rica 23,547

NASL (1976-1977)

The Connecticut Bicentennials of the NASL played two seasons at the Yale Bowl, mostly in front of dismal crowds. Even their highest-ever home attendance, against the New York Cosmos in 1977, drew only 17,302 fans, leaving the stadium more than three-quarters empty. However, the Bi's could only draw a total of 57,438—less than the Bowl's capacity for a single game—in their other 21 home games combined, an average of only 2,735 per contest. After the 1977 season, the club relocated to become the Oakland Stompers.

Date Home Opponent Score Attendance
June 2, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials Rochester Lancers 2 - 1 1,853
June 12, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials Miami Toros 1-1 (S/O) 3,105
June 20, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials Chicago Sting 2-1 3,289
June 24, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials San Diego Jaws 1-1 (S/O) 1,642
June 30, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials San Antonio Thunder 1-1 (S/O) 1,426
July 7, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials Washington Diplomats 2-1 (S/O) 2,100
July 24, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials United States Canada Toronto Metros-Croatia 4-4 (S/O) 4,122
July 30, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials Tampa Bay Rowdies 0-7 3,800
Aug. 14, 1976 Connecticut Bicentennials St. Louis Stars 2-1 3,376
May 8, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials New York Cosmos 2-3 17,302
May 15, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-4 1,520
May 29, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 2,257
June 12, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Fort Lauderdale Strikers 0-2 6,213
June 15, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Team Hawaii 1-2 1,295
June 19, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials St. Louis Stars 0-3 1,222
June 26, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Rochester Lancers 2-1 2,832
June 29, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Los Angeles Aztecs 2-3 2,915
July 13, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Las Vegas Quicksilvers 4-3 3,472
July 17, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials United States Canada Toronto Metros-Croatia 0-4 4,515
July 27, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Seattle Sounders 1-4 2,169
August 3, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Washington Diplomats 4-1 1,100
August 7, 1977 Connecticut Bicentennials Chicago Sting 1-1 (S/O) 3,215


See also


  1. ^ 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States (PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Yale Bowl". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved October 3, 2007.
  4. ^ James H. Charleton (December 1985). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Yale Bowl". National Park Service. and Accompanying aerial photo, from 1985
  5. ^ a b Amore, Dom (November 13, 2014). "Yale Bowl starts big, and 100 years later, it remains special". Hartford Courant. (Connecticut). Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Schonbrun, Zach (November 2, 2014). "At Yale Bowl, 100 Years of Tradition, Pride and No Locker Rooms". The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Greatest football crowd ever, sees big match". The Day. (New London, Connecticut). November 21, 1914. p. 13.
  8. ^ "Yale victim of bad breaks or score might have been closer". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). November 22, 1914. p. 1, part 3.
  9. ^ Hartford Courant: Yale Bowl Loses World Cup Bid
  10. ^ https://www.facebook.com/yalealumnimagazine/posts/pfbid02JC1xswNjdUvccbhwArjLGRudKTRKXMLehE4PScLxXiW9xyP3oGV29Pa2d4zY63Fel
  11. ^ Wallace, William M. (August 18, 1969). "Jets Beat Giants, 37–14; Namath Completes 14 of 16 Passes, 3 for Scores; BATTLE RETURNS PUNT FOR 86 YARDS 70,874 Fans See Jet Rookie Score in Yale Bowl – Mathis Tallies Two Touchdowns". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
Preceded byYankee Stadium Home of theNew York Giants 1973–1974 Succeeded byShea Stadium