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Mark's Stadium, Fall River, Massachusetts Brian D. Bunk

The original Mark’s Stadium was constructed by Sam Mark in 1922 in North Tiverton, Rhode Island. Although it was home to the Fall River Marksmen of Massachusetts it had been built across the state line so that games could be played on Sundays. The pitch was one of the earliest soccer-specific stadiums ever built in the US and was certainly the largest to that point with a capacity of 15,000 spectators.

Most sources indicate that the ground was eventually home to a club called Ponta Delgada. Although formed in 1915, the team really only became well-known in US soccer circles after winning the 1938 Amateur Cup. During the 1940s and into the 1950s the Rhode Island side was one of the best in the country winning the Amateur Cup six times and the National Challenge Cup in 1947.

Other resources, as well as published materials including Roger Allaway’s Rangers, Rovers and Spindles and Alan Foulds’ Boston’s Ball Parks and Arenas, suggest that the original Mark’s stadium had been modified to play host to racing and baseball before eventually returning to soccer. Images from Fall River, Mass Soccer Heritage

However, aerial photographs show that the original Mark’s stadium was torn down sometime before 1938. Close examination of images from 1938 and 1939 does not seem to show any structure that could house 15,000 people. Image: RI Maps and Aerial Photos

A view from 1952-53, however, clearly indicates there is a stadium on the site. Image: RI Maps and Aerial Photos

Patrick Sullivan (@atlsoccerpast) discovered that the 1933 Sanborn Insurance map of North Tiverton reveals that by the time the map was made, nothing remained of the stadium. Meanwhile, research by Dan Creel (@SoccerAlmanac) notes that the last American Soccer League match took place at Mark’s stadium on September 18, 1932. This would seem to confirm the fact that it was dismantled by 1933. Map: Library of Congress

This remarkable photograph from November 19, 1923 shows that the original stadium was mostly built of wood. During the 1920s, boxing promoters often built large temporary wooden stadiums for major bouts. These sites would be quickly taken down after the fight and the materials reused. Image: Fall River Globe, November 19, 1923.

By 1947 the Sanborn Map shows that once again a new stadium called Ponta Delgada had been built on the same site as the original Mark's Stadium. Map: Library of Congress

Eventually the stadium was once again dismantled and the location turned into a drive-in movie theater. Image: RI Maps and Aerial Photos

Isaac Payano (@ReimagineNYC) noted that the orientation of the original stadium was closer to the site of the current parking lot and sports bar than it was to the large open field nearby. The siting of the Ponta Delgada stadium, built in 1939, was the same as the first structure.