Gator Bowl Stadium is no more but it had a long and successful run in the sports world. Here is a look at some interesting info and fun facts about this once great stadium.
-Gator Bowl Stadium was built in 1927 and went through a number of changes over the years. It closed in 1994 and was later almost completely demolished to make room for the building of Jacksonville Municipal Stadium which eventually helped the city lure an NFL expansion team there.
-The original name of the football field was Fairfield Stadium. It would not be renamed the Gator Bowl until 1949 after a massive expansion and the year after the first Gator Bowl college football game.
–The Beatles played a notable concert in the Gator Bowl during their first American tour in 1964. They appeared there just one day after Hurricane Dora had hit the nearby coast and the city was largely without power. Ringo Starr’s drums had been nailed to the stage as winds reached upwards of 50 miles per hour.
-The Gator Bowl was a natural grass field for its entire life.
-The last Gator Bowl football game played in the actual Gator Bowl Stadium was in 1993. It saw Alabama defeat North Carolina 24-10.
-The west upper deck that is utilized as part of EverBank Field and the ramping systems are all that remains of Gator Bowl Stadium as the rest of it were completely dismantled to make way for the new stadium.
-When it was constructed it had a capacity of 7,600. When it was demolished its capacity had increased to 62,000.
-From 1933 to 1993, Gator Bowl Stadium was home to the Florida – Georgia yearly rivalry. This is one of the few college football conference games that was routinely played on the same neutral field every year.
-The Jacksonville Tea Men were a North American Soccker League franchise that played at the Gator Bowl from 1981 to 1982.
-Long before the new stadium was built as a home to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Gator Bowl had already been home to three different professional football teams. The Jacksonville Sharks of the World Football League played there in 1974 and folded after just one year. The very next year the Jacksonville Express of the WFL would play in the stadium and they too would last just one year. A decade later the stadium would be home to the Jacksonville Bulls of the United States Football League from 1984 to 1985.