Historic Markers Across Florida

Phillips Field

Marker ID:  
Location: On North Blvd at W Cypress, Tampa, FL
County: Hillsborough
Coordinates: N 27° 57.138    W 082° 28.099
  27.9523    -82.46831666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMT8ZX


Phillips Field

Located north of Cass Street, between North Boulevard and the Hillsborough River, Phillips Field was Tampa's primary football and marching band venue for 30 years. The estate of I.W. Phillips transferred the property to the City of Tampa in 1934 to be conveyed to the University of Tampa for a sports stadium. On October 4, 1937, the UT "Spartans" defeated South Georgia in the first college game played there. For many years, the stadium hosted the Cigar Bowl and Bethune-Cookman's Tilt of the Maroon and Gold game. In 1944-1945, it was the home stadium for the Third Air Force football team based at Drew Field.

During segregation, Blake and Middleton High Schools played their home games at Phillips Field. Their contests and the Thanksgiving Day games between Hillsborough and Plant High Schools drew capacity crowds. Florida A&M 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist Bob Hayes and UT's John Matuszak, the NFL's 1st overall draft pick in 1973, played football there. In 1964 the Buffalo Bills' Peter Gogolak kicked the first soccer-style field goal in professional football in an exhibition game against the New York Jets. The stadium also hosted stock car races and boxing matches.

Construction of Tampa Stadium in 1967 marked the demise of Phillips Field. The bleachers were razed in 1970, and the field was used primarily as a practice facility for UT. Tampa Prepatory School now occupies the site.