Ford Field

Photograph courtesy of the Walter P. Reuther Library. Wayne State University.

Ford Field has been the Detroit Lions’ home turf since 2002, but the team has called several stadiums home through the years.

From 1975 until the move downtown, the Lions played at the Pontiac Silverdome. Before that, the gridiron was at Briggs Stadium (later Tiger Stadium), starting in 1938. But the Lions’ first den was the University of Detroit Stadium (also called Titan Stadium), where they played from 1934-37, and again in 1940. The stadium was the site of the team’s first NFL Championship in 1935, when they trounced the New York Giants.

Despite a strong start, attendance wasn’t terrific in 1934, so team owner G.A. Richards decided to host a Thanksgiving Day game, which was broadcast nationally on the radio. The stadium sold out, thousands had to be turned away, and a holiday football tradition was born. (This Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, the Lions lock horns with the Green Bay Packers at Ford Field.)

In this shot, a band plays, presumably at halftime, in a Halloween day game. U. of D. Titans football games were also held at the stadium until the school dropped the sport in the 1960s.

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