Football season is on the horizon and many teams across New Jersey will take part in neutral site games throughout the season.
Among the biggest neutral-site events will be The Battle at the Beach, played at Carey Stadium in Ocean City within view of the Atlantic Ocean, the Rumble on the Raritan at Rutgers’ SHI Stadium, and the Zone Six Classic at MetLife Stadium.
With more of these events popping up each year, what would be some good venues to add in future years?
Here are a half dozen venues in or around the Garden State that would be unique places to host a New Jersey high school football game.
The only one on the list recognized as a national historic landmark, Hinchliffe Stadium would be a terrific use of a venue that has been standing for nine decades.
A 10,000-seat stadium near the city’s Great Falls, Hinchliffe Stadium originally began its life as a racetrack, hosting boxing matches and pro football games. Famously, Hinchliffe was a major site of Negro League baseball in the 1930s. Nearby schools Clifton and Eastside would use the field for football games and the stadium was often used for annual Thanksgiving clashes between Eastside and Kennedy.
The stadium has been saved from the brink of demolition and a $94 million project to renovate the site began last year. The Negro League ties have brought rumors of Major League Baseball playing a Field of Dreams-like game on the site, but it would be fitting to see the renovations completed and the neighboring football teams go back to using the hallowed field for a game once again.
Football has never been played at Red Bull Arena, not the American version anyway. But this venue feels like a no-brainer with a large field that plays host to the Red Bulls in the MLS and Gotham FC in the NWSL.
The arena is in the shadow of Newark, where professional football in New Jersey dates back to the 1880s. Many of those sites have been repurposed and some still serve as high school football fields. Red Bull Arena would tap into that heritage.