Forness Stadium

Photo Credit to The Franciscan Institute of St. Bonaventure University

Forness Stadium was a gift of the former Olean Mayor and civic leader Fred W. Forness, the stadium hosted intercollegiate football games from 1946 until 1951. The St. Bonaventure press box which sat high above the south side of the stands was ranked as one of the finest facilities in the nation.

According to press reports at the time Forness Stadium was built in just 77 days. It’s opening game was held September 28, 1964 when St. Bonaventure played Youngstown. The visitors won, 20-14.

Two attendance setting records were set during the time that Forness Stadium was in use: one, in 1948 when St. Bonaventure played William and Mary with 12,000 spectators; the other was when the Bonnies faced little three rival Canisius in 1949 with 12,900 fans attending the game.

Intramural sports and the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) drills used the field until the end of 1959 when the stands and press box were disassembled in preparation for the building of The Friary which is currently known as Doyle Hall.

Hopkins Hall administration hall, which was built in 1946, now sits where the lower left corner of the old football field.

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