It hosted the first boxing event which drew a gate of over $2.5 million (Dempsey-Tunney, 1927), the first ski meet held in a stadium, and the all-time largest football crowd (123,000). The largest crowd for any event in Soldier Field was 260,000 on Sept. 8, 1954, for the Catholic church’s Marian Year Tribute.
The 100,000-seat stadium was dedicated November 27, 1926, with Army battling Navy to a 21-21 tie. The all-time collegiate attendance record of 123,000 plus was established Nov. 26, 1927 as Notre Dame beat Southern Cal 7-6. In the first professional game at the then-mammoth stadium, the Bears defeated the Chicago Cardinals 10-0 on November 11, 1926.
Plans for the stadium started in 1919 as a memorial to the soldiers of WWI. Soldier Field stood on 10,000 pile foundations driving an average depth of 62.5 feet through fill that replaced the lake waters. The new stadium continues to be owned, maintained and operated by the Chicago Park District.