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Shibe Park is a baseball stadium located in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. It was baseball’s first steel and concrete stadium ever built. Over the lifetime of the stadium, it was home to two different baseball teams and eventually a football team too. Shibe Park was designed and constructed in 1907. At that time, it cost $301,000 ($8.67 million in 2020)[i]. However, currently at the site of the stadium is a church. You will learn more about the timeline of events that led to this transformation from Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium and eventually a church.

[i] “Shibe Park.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2021,

Shibe Park/ Connie Mack Sttadium Historic Marker

Font, Commemorative plaque, Gas, Signage

Connie Mack Stadium

Building, Sky, Window, House

You may be wondering, why is it named Shibe Park? The owner of the Philadelphia Athletics, the baseball team the stadium was built for, was named Ben Shibe. When he realized that they needed a new stadium, he hired William Steele and Sons[i]. The reason that he chose William Steele and Sons was because they were who built the cities first skyscrapers out of the new technology, steel-reinforced concrete. The construction went on for 2 years until Shibe stadium was ready to open. Although, the stadium was just 5 blocks away from their old stadium it began to draw a bigger crowd. 

Once the stadium was completed in 1909, the Philadelphia Athletics played the Boston Red Sox in the first game in Shibe Stadium and ended up winning 8-1. The big day was April 12th, 1909, fans were lined up in the ticket line at 9 a.m., wrapping around the entire city block. It was said that, “More than 30,000 fans showed up and got in; another 15,000 showed up and were turned away”[ii]. It was certainly a very important moment for the city as another 6,000 fans spectated from rooftops around the block. There must have been some good luck in Shibe Park because the Athletics won the World Series shortly after constructing their new stadium in 1910, 1911, and 1913[iii].

Unfortunately, in 1922 Ben Shibe had passes away, leaving his sons Tom and Jack as President and Vice President. Shortly after Ben’s death, his sons began to expand the stadium, adding another 10,000 seats and 750 pricey box seats. Following the completion of all the upgrades, Tom Shibe passed away, so the manager of the Athletics, Connie Mack, bought the team by purchasing Tom’s shares from his widow[iv]. Up until this point, they were never able to play night games because Shibe Park didn’t have any lights. However, Connie Mack fixed that issue by adding lights to the stadium in 1939, against all scrutiny from the neighborhood. The neighborhood was against the idea of night play due to all the traffic that it would bring. 

In a feud with the neighborhood, Connie Mack decided to add a fence ranging from 12 to 34 ft. causing the view from outside the stadium to be interrupted. The neighborhood gave the new wall the name, “Connie Mack’s Spite Fence”[v]. Shortly after the fence renovation was completed, a second tenant moved into the stadium. The neighbors from just 5 blocks away, The Philadelphia Phillies. However, they wouldn’t be the only tenant of the Athletics, as the Philadelphia Eagle (Professional Football Team) began to play their home games there as well[vi]. However, the Eagles would end up staying at Shibe Park for 18 years, until 1958, before moving into their own stadium, Franklin Field. 

Connie Mack was the manager of the Athletics for 50 years, so in 1953 Shibe Park was renamed to Connie Mack Stadium. Within the next year, in 1954 the Athletics had relocated to Kansas City, and the Phillies ended up buying Connie Mack Stadium for $1.675 million[vii]. Later, in 1964, voters approved a bond to build a multipurpose field for the Phillies and Eagles (Veterans Stadium). Once Connie Mack stadium was abandoned, there was a fire set by two young boys (9 and 12 years old) the destroyed the stadium[viii]. In 1974, the final piece of Connie Mack Stadium was demolished. 17 years later, the land was sold to the Deliverance Evangelistic Church. One year later, on August 30, 1992, the 5,100-seat sanctuary was completed, and that is what still stands there to this date. 

In conclusion, Shibe Park was designed and constructed in 1907. It was then opened in 1909 as the stadium of the Philadelphia Athletics. After Ben Shibe and Tom Shibe passed, the manager of the A's bought Tom's shares in the Athletics. His name was Connie Mack. That is where the new name of the stadium came from. After 50 years as the manager for the Athletics, they renamed the stadium to Connie Mack Stadium. Over the 65 years that Shibe Park/Connie Mack Stadium was standing, it had three different tenants. The Athletics, Phillies, and the Eagles. Once all the teams moved on from Connie Mack Stadium, because it started to age, there was fire at the stadium. It was then torn down and is now the sight of a church.

[i] “Shibe Park.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2021, 

[ii] Baseball Almanac, Inc. “Shibe Park.” Baseball Almanac,

[iii] “Shibe Park.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2021,           

[iv] Baseball Almanac, Inc. “Shibe Park.” Baseball Almanac,

[v] Baseball Almanac, Inc. “Shibe Park.” Baseball Almanac,

[vi] “Shibe Park.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2021,

[vii] “Shibe Park.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2021,

[viii] “Shibe Park.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Aug. 2021,

[ix] “Shibe Park Connie Mack Stadium.” YouTube, YouTube, 1 Mar. 2021,

A Complete History of Shibe Park, Shibe Park. Accessed December 15th 2021.

Philadelphia Baseball History. Shibe Park Connie Mack Stadium, Shibe Park Connie Mack Stadium. March 1st 2021. Accessed December 15th 2021.

Shibe Park, Shibe Park. November 14th 2021. Accessed December 15th 2021.

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