I happened across an article today about the City of San Antonio moving towards designating Alamo Stadium as a city historic landmark. With my curiosity piqued, I soon learned that this stadium was built as a WPA project during the Depression and with a seating capacity of 23,000 is the largest high school football stadium in Texas.
This got me wondering about how many stadiums (and arenas) have been designated as historic landmarks by city, state or federal governments. It doesn’t appear that there is a master list of such designations (or at least I have not come across one). But I did learn that Harvard Stadium, the Yale Bowl, the Rose Bowl and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum all have received the most prestigious such designation as National Historic Landmarks. I find it a bit ironic that two Ivy League facilities and two from Los Angeles make up this quartet. Conversely, Soldier Field lost its National Historic Landmark status as a result of the massive renovation completed in 2003.
Before you ask, yes, Fenway Park is a National Historic Landmark; but you may be surprised to learn that designation was made only this month! Another iconic baseball stadium, Wrigley Field, was deemed eligible for designation back in 1987 but has not requested it be formalized in the ensuing quarter century.
One wonders which, if any, of the current generation of sports facilities will be around long enough to be considered as candidates for historic preservation.