|Former names||Baker Field (1923–1982)|
|Location||West 218th St. at Park Terrace West|
New York City
|Public transit||New York City Subway: at 215th Street |
at Inwood–207th Street
Columbia Transportation: Bakers Field Shuttle
FieldTurf (2005–present) (field)
|Construction cost||$7 million (1984)|
|Columbia Lions (NCAA) (1984–present)|
Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, officially known as Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium at Baker Athletics Complex, is a stadium in the Inwood neighborhood at the northern tip of the island of Manhattan, New York City. Part of Columbia University's Baker Athletics Complex, it is primarily used for American football, lacrosse, and track and field events. The stadium opened in 1984 and holds 17,100 people.
Baker Athletics Complex history
The Baker Athletics Complex, originally Baker Field, is Columbia's outdoor athletic complex. Previously, all outdoor teams had played on South Field, across 116th Street from Low Memorial Library, the field where Lou Gehrig played for the Lions; it is now partially covered by Butler Library.
The athletic complex is located between the corner of Broadway and West 218th Street and Spuyten Duyvil Creek – the confluence of the Harlem and Hudson rivers – in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan, at the northern tip of Manhattan Island. It was purchased for the university by financier George Fisher Baker for $700,000 in December 1921. It was dedicated the following April, but it was not until 1923 that the team began playing there. A 32,000-seat wooden stadium was built on the site in 1928; this was in use until 1982, when it was demolished to make room for the current Wien Stadium.
The "new" stadium
Wien opened on September 22, 1984, with a game that ended in a loss to Harvard. The first home win at the stadium came on October 8, 1988, over Princeton. The 10,500-seat southeast (home side) stands were built first; the 6,500-seat northwest stands opened two years later. The stadium is named for Lawrence Wien, class of 1925, a former trustee, philanthropist, lawyer and entrepreneur. After a $5 million donation by Robert Kraft, class of 1963, the field was named in his honor on October 13, 2007. For the first 11 seasons, Wien Stadium had grass and then AstroTurf from 1995 to 2004 but as of 2005 has since switched to FieldTurf.
In April 2015, New York City FC of Major League Soccer was reported to be considering building a new stadium at the Baker Athletics Complex. The Lawrence A. Wien Stadium would be demolished and replaced by a 25,000 seat stadium to be used by both NYCFC and the Columbia Lions.
Transformation to COVID field hospital
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center turned Robert K. Kraft Field and Columbia Soccer Stadium into a 288-bed field hospital. The field hospital is named for decorated US Navy SEAL Ryan F. Larkin (1987–2017), who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kate Kemplin, head nurse of the operation, described Larkin as "exactly the kind of person who would have set up a tent to treat patients, if he were alive today." The care center will be staffed primarily with former US military personnel in conjunction with NewYork-Presbyterian’s frontline staff.
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- Bagli, Charles V.; Das, Andrew (April 28, 2015). "New York City F.C., Searching for Stadium Site, Is Considering Columbia Athletic Complex". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2015.
- Barone, Vincent (2020-04-10). "Columbia University converting soccer stadium into coronavirus field hospital". New York Post. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
- Postmaster (2020-04-11). "The Baker BunkerBaker, el búnker". Manhattan Times News. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
- "Mobilizing to Treat COVID-19 Patients: A Field Hospital is Born". NewYork-Presbyterian. 2020-04-13. Retrieved 2020-04-16.
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