Sweeney Field. Soccer & Lacrosse.
Sweeney Field has been home to 10 different varsity squads at Saint Joseph’s University as it enters its 80th year. Opened in 1929 as home to the SJU football squad, the field has undergone numerous changes over the years and has been home to over a thousand SJU varsity games, matches and track meets.
The most recent upgrade happened this past summer as the AstroTurf, laid down in 2001, was replaced with new, state-of-the-art TigerTurf. Additionally, the track received a new coat of rubber material to better suit the athletes who use it for all seasons.
Home to the men’s and women’s soccer teams, men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, the field has seen other modifications done to it since its inception in 1929. The prospect of a 70,000-seat bowled stadium for football was dashed when the sport was discontinued following the 1939 season.
Baseball re-occupied the space in 1947, calling Finnesey home until 1959. In 1960, the original grandstand as well was the hillside seating near Overbrook Avenue were eliminated as Villiger (now Post) Hall and the Bluett Theatre were built. In the process of the 1960 construction, the field’s elevation was raised five feet to its current location.
In 1990, artificial turf replaced the grass, making Finnesey a truly multi-purpose facility. In 1994 the installation of lights furthered the use of the grounds, while new bleachers in 2003 on the hill next to Mandeville Hall were another touch of renovation to a historic stadium.
Saint Joseph’s men’s soccer was started in 1958 and played every season but one (1960) at Finnesey. The squad has compiled an overall 159-155-30 mark in 49 seasons at Hawk Hill, the most victories of any program on Finnesey Field. SJU opened their playing grounds with a 6-0 victory over Rutgers-South Jersey in October 24, 1958.
The location has also been home to women’s soccer since 1996 and the field hockey team wrapped up its last season on Finnesey in 2007. They open on a new playing surface on the Maguire Campus in 2009.
Overall, the site has seen 1,053 games entering the 2008-09 academic year, and SJU teams put together a total record of 493-518-42 in 79 years.
From the North: NJ Turnpike to Exit 6 (PA Turnpike connector). Follow PA Turnpike to Exit 20 (Rt. 476). Follow 476 South to Rt. 76 East, towards Philadelphia. Follow Rt. 76 East to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left.
From the East: Take either the Ben Franklin Bridge (via Rt. 676) or the Walt Whitman Bridge: Follow Rt. 76 West to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and then right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left.
From the South: I-95 North to 476 North. Follow 476 North to Exit 5 (Rt. 1). Follow Rt. 1 North to SJU, approximately 10 miles. Turn right on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left.
From the West: PA Turnpike to Exit 326 (Valley Forge). Follow Rt. 76 East, towards Philadelphia, to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse on the left.
From the Airport: I-95 North to Rt. 76 West. Follow Rt. 76 West to Exit 339 (Rt. 1 South, City Avenue). Turn left on 54th Street and turn right into parking lot. Fieldhouse is on the left.
Where to Park. Hawks Landing.
Open in early 2008, Hawks’ Landing is a five-story parking and retail facility that features 460 parking spaces, the University Bookstore and Cosi restaurant. The address for Hawks Landing is 2461 N. 54th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19131.