Foto Feature: Memorial Field almost complete after 15-year wait

Memorial Field in Mount Vernon has seen real progress, with the new stadium, turf fields, tennis courts and skatepark almost complete.

LandTek began the project in 202o in what was announced as a $25 million reconstruction program led by Westchester County, though reports in March said costs have risen to close to $41 million due to buried debris, contaminated soil and supply-chain delays caused by the pandemic.

The main turf field with over 3,500 stadium seats is finished, while the tennis courts, track, skatepark and bathrooms are still under construction, but County Executive George Latimer said he hopes the project will be complete in the fall. Patrons will use the Best Buy parking lot to access the field. The stadium is on East Sandford Boulevard across the street from the Pelham school district’s Glover Field complex.

Memorial Field had a long history before it’s closing in 2007, and languished through the terms of numerous Mount Vernon mayors and failed efforts to renovate the complex.  Memorial Field was the filming location for the iconic 1979 Coca-Cola commercial featuring Mean Joe Greene of the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as the location for concerts performed by the Jackson 5, James Brown, Buddy Rich and Ella Fitzgerald. It was home to the Iona Gaels football team for 24 years, along with the Mount Vernon Knights. The Westchester Bulls, a farm team of the New York Giants, played there in the 1960s.

Construction workers at the field said they uncovered a Model-T Ford and a 300-foot-long circus tent while digging.