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Karl R. Josker | all galleries >> Buffalo >> Once Upon A Time In Buffalo > War Memorial Stadium
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War Memorial Stadium
Karl R. Josker

War Memorial Stadium

I remember when some national commentator said "Whatever war it memorializes, looks like it was fought within it's confines." The numerous additions were certainly ugly, but it was a good stadium to watch a baseball game, a Buffalo Bills game, or even a stock car race. It was affectionately called "the Rockpile."


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Gary Boyce 14-Mar-2012 20:14
I loved this old place.I lived downstate but saw Bills games back in days of blackouts here and became a Bills fan due in large part to this mysterious looking stadium on TV.
When we got older friends and I drove up to see Jets games(that was their team-not mine) and it was 71/72 and the neighborhood was downright scary with a military like police presence on game day.
My friends called it a hellhole-dump but I loved it and the huge stands on Dodge really stood out.
I was fortunate to have moved up there in the "old gals" death rattle" and saw the Beach Boys and a few Bison games in the last year 1987. It was classic still and the great smells of the sausage-dogs etc. from the first base BBQ area where incredible.
There was a black guy that danced I believe he was called the EarlOf Bud who danced when the song "Tequila" would be played- great entertainment and family fun.
I have to admit that as dangerous the neighborhood had been in 72 and became in the 80`s` I never felt unsafe or afraid-but always wondered how great and how lucky people were that lived in the area say up to 1966 because I think the riots were in 67 or 69?
I went back a few years ago took the metro to Sumner/Best exit and walked institively to where once stood my FIRST GIRLFRIEND but it was all gone except for 2 entrance areas from the old Rockpile and I couldnt help but think they took way too much of the old gal and should have left more.
I recall the breathtking sight I had in 71 and 72 when we would drive down Best and spot the huge stands and then all the "locals" mostly drunk on their porches and cops all over.
Now it just doesnt seem quite right and I missed the place.
It was never ugly to me and I recall mourning its passage though most were glad to see it go.
Too bad- she deserved better for all she brought to Buffalo.
But would love to hear stories of game days from people who lived there.
rosalie atti feinen 05-Aug-2011 18:10
I remember going to a game with my boyfriend (now husband) and my brother. We paid a young black boy some money to watch our car. It was so unbelieveable cold, I was out of my mind. We had a flask of Southen Comfort and I kept chugging it...I had never drank alcohol and got so drunk, my husband and brother had to hold tight to make sure I wouldn't fall straight down (we were in upper deck). Thank God the next time we went it was in Rich Stadium. I'm talking early 60ies. We moved to Florida in 1985 and love it here, don't miss snow!!!
Tom Carr 10-Apr-2010 09:23
Grew up on South Park Ave. near Capitol show. A man by the name of Jim Brown owned Browns Furnace Service and he would take the neighborhood children to Civic Stadium to the stock car races. I was the one that would always look in the Buffalo Evening News on Friday and look for the ad that said stock car racing Civic Stadium Saturday and would hound him to go!!!
Must have had some impression on me as I am still involved in racing today at age 65!!!!
BILL BALL 07-Nov-2008 00:15
THE NAME IS CIVIC STADIUM, I USED TO LIVE AT E.NORTH AND HERMAN AND YOU COULD SMELL THE BURNING TIRES FROM THE STOCK CARS MIDGETS RACE CARS ALL OVER THE EAST SIDE,I WAS NICE UNTIL THEY DUG THE ROBT.MOSES DITCH [THE KENSINGTON EXPRESSWAY] AND SPLIT THE NEIGHBORHOOD IN TWO.
Kenneth Weston 29-Jul-2007 12:12
As a young boy (around 1940) I lived at 330 Dodge Street which in those days I believe was located in the foreground of this photo. Before its construction Civic Stadium was the site of a reservoir. I remember that I was struck by appendicitis the same day a worker fell and died working on one of the two bison insets seen over the entrance at left. At that time it was a bowl with no stands as seen on the right. It was common during events for Dodge street folks to allow parking in their driveways and on their lawns. I recall one bitter cold night when Bennett and Kensington high schools played a big game before a full stadium (in the late 40's).
Roger Swan 08-May-2007 18:58
I to remember this as being called Civic Stadium. I was born and raised in Buffalo and left there in 1959. Remember playing a high school football game there in 1952.
Also spent many a Summer day swimming in the pools and climbing the fences late at night to skinny dip. In later years after dinner we used to play handball on the old concrete courts located on the Dodge Street side of the complex. In the early 40's we kids used to fly kites on the blacktop softball field for hours on end. Many great hours spent in enjoying my youth were spent there.
Phyllis 25-Feb-2006 17:20
I remember seeing this everytime we walked to the Masten Swimming Pool in the summer. Later going to Bills games there.. The only problem with seeing a game there was all those posts that got in the way if you were unlucky to be behind them.
sk 05-Jul-2005 21:52
I don't know when this became War Mem, I remember this as Civic Stadium
Amir FaSaad 24-Apr-2005 15:29
only the facade entrances remain on the jefferson st. side of best st. All else..gone.