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The Academy of Music housed Philadelphia’s first indoor American football game

Posted by:  Kimmel Center on November 20, 2016

It’s Football Sunday once again!

Did you know the Academy of Music housed Philadelphia’s first indoor American football game? Just before the turn of the 20th century, our own University of Pennsylvania took on the Riverton Club of Princeton on a wooden floor laid atop the parquet (and yes, they kept the chandelier overhead).

With a temporary “field,” a violent game ensued. The game resulted in a 0-0 tie, and The Philadelphia Inquirer summed it up saying “All the players were winded…All were bruised. Some had their clothes torn. One had a black eye. Two were scratched on the faces. Twenty-two voted in-door foot ball a failure.”

Read more on this unique story on the Academy of Music’s History page or check out Mark F. Berstein’s “Operatic Football” account!

Pictured above: Academy of Music circa 1879

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