It all started with community support from a bond vote

If you drive down 1st Avenue on a fall Friday night, you’ll see the lights and hear the cheers, which lets you know that it’s Friday Night Football at Kingston Stadium. Kingston has been a landmark in the Cedar Rapids community for 70 years, as it hits its anniversary on September 12th. The first football game played at Kingston Stadium was in September 1952.

Kingston was originally part of a bond vote in 1948 when it was called Cedar Rapids Sports Stadium. The bond vote was packaged up with three elementary schools. The goal for Kingston was to have a central stadium that could be shared between all Cedar Rapids high schools. The site of Kingston was chosen due to its proximity to the baseball stadium (the original Veterans Memorial Stadium) that had recently been built.

Kingston Stadium was named as part of a citywide contest. The winner wanted to recognize the Village of Kingston, which was a settlement in 1839 that later became part of Cedar Rapids.

The first football game played at Kingston Stadium in September 1952 marked a full house to watch as Wilson beat Franklin 6-0, followed by Roosevelt beating McKinley 8-6, all of which were high schools at the time. Halftime was spent dedicating the new stadium.

Back in the early 1960’s, NFL Exhibition games would be played at Kingston Stadium, including a Canadian Football League exhibition game in 1961. In 2017, the Cedar Rapids Rampage United amateur soccer team in the Premier League of America played at Kingston Stadium. It was also previously home to Coe College Athletics.

Kingston Stadium has been well taken care of over the years by a full Building & Grounds team, as well as updates to keep it in line with modern times. There was a large upgrade in 2009 which included adding artificial turf, new field lighting, new restrooms and infrastructure improvements. More recently in 2019, Kingston was upgraded to an 8 lane track, allowing the ability to host state meets, and was also updated to become more handicap accessible. In the future, there are plans to replace lockers and upgrade showers and restrooms, as well as general infrastructure updates such as replacing fencing, windows and increasing parking.

Kingston Stadium brings pride to the Cedar Rapids area. It’s one of the largest stadiums in the state, seating up to 10,000 people at a time. It’s shared by all of the area’s middle and high schools across multiple sports; football, track and field, soccer, cheerleading and band.