Vito Locascio Field
This site takes its name from Loring Avenue, the majority of which runs through Brooklyn, but which extends into Queens for the length of this park. Loring Avenue was known as Lorraine Avenue until 1937, when a local law changed the name of the section of the roadway running from Fountain Avenue to the Brooklyn-Queens border. Today Loring Field is used by several football leagues.
Organized football in New York dates back to 1870, when Rutgers University defeated Columbia University six goals to three in the city’s first official football game. In the late 19th century, New York often played host to games between colleges from other parts of the country. The best attended games often involved Notre Dame University from South Bend, Indiana, which drew crowds from the large catholic population in the city.
The first professional team to play in New York was Brickley’s Giants, who played two games in the National Football League (NFL) in 1921. In 1925, a team called the New York Giants joined the NFL, playing their games at the Polo Grounds at 156th street in Manhattan. The team would later move to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, where on December 28, 1958, the Baltimore Colts would beat the Giants 23-17, a match that many people consider the greatest game in NFL history. The fact that the game was televised nationally and took place in New York, the nation’s largest city and media center, was a major stimulus for the popularization of what would become one of the country’s most popular sports.
Although the Giants celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2000, many other professional New York football franchises have lacked such staying power. Many of these teams were named after the City’s baseball clubs in an attempt to capitalize on that sport’s success. NFL franchises such as the New York Yankees, Brooklyn Dodgers, Brooklyn Lions, and Staten Island Stapletons all played in New York at one time.
Three different American Football Leagues (AFL) were organized from 1925 to 1941, with New York teams such as the Brooklyn Lions, Brooklyn Horsemen, Brooklyn Tigers, New York Americans and three versions of the New York Yankees. The New York Titans were a member of a fourth AFL division formed in 1960. The Titans changed their name to the Jets in 1963 in anticipation of a move to Shea Stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, adjacent to LaGuardia Airport, in 1964. The Jets proved to be longer lasting than most, with the franchise still in existence today.
Parks acquired this site in three parts, in 1915, 1951, and 1954. The additions have made the park the full triangle it is today, bordered on three sides by 149th Avenue, Cross Bay Blvd, and North Conduit Avenue. Commissioner Stern named Loring Field on June 18, 1987. Today it is used not only for football, but for baseball games as well.