Parade Stadium was Minneapolis' first public football stadium. The Minneapolis park board built the 16,560-seat stadium at The Parade, a park just west of downtown, in 1951. The stadium hosted its first major event in July 1951, when the Lone Ranger and Silver appeared at an Aquatennial children's event. That September, an exhibition football game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers drew twenty thousand fans. For more information, click here.
(MINNEAPOLIS) - The Green Bay Packers did more than hold their
own in a scoreless first half against the San Francisco 49ers on the
squishy, rain-soaked Parade Stadium here Wednesday night. But it
was a different story in the second half as the 49ers romped to three
touchdowns and a 20-0 victory in a Catholic Charities benefit game
before a near capacity crowd of 19,021.
There was nothing in the first half activities that even hinted at the
second half collapse of Gene Ronzani's boys. They came within two
yards of a touchdown early in the second quarter after a beautiful,
criss-crossing 43-yard run by rookie Ray Pelfrey. San Francisco, in the
meantime, just managed to cross midfield twice. Even through most of
the third period, it looked like nothing much could or world happen in
the way of scoring on the slippery field. Suddenly, without warning,
the 49ers struck from afar after Joe Wismann's interception of a Bobby
Thomason pass. Joe Perry, big Frisco fullback, broke over left tackle,
swerved to his right and dashed 42 yards for a touchdown without having a hand laid on him. Perry added the extra point.
Before the Packers had a chance to pull themselves together, lightning struck again in the form of a 94-yard punt return by Joe Arenas. The 49ers' rookie safety man fielded Jug Girard's punt on the hop, slipped past a wave of Packer eager beavers and was off to the races. Perry's failure to convert left the count at 13-0 going into the fourth quarter. The West Coach club swept 62 yards on six plays, three of them passes by Y.A. Tittle, for an added insurance marker in the fourth. Rex Berry jammed through for the final 10 yards. Tittle added the final point. Two fumble recoveries by big Al Hopewell deep in his own territory saved the Packers further trouble and embarrassment down the stretch. The winners did a remarkable job of running, passing and catching in the big second half. They had a definite edge in speed, too, as the Bays, not nearly the team they were against Philadelphia last Sunday looked sluggish. The losers failed to advance beyond the enemy 45-yard line all through the rocky second half.
Thomason and Tobin Rote has the worst imaginable night in the passing department, completing only three out of 20. And those three completions actually lost two yards. Frisco, with Tittle and Frankie Albert doing the chucking, picked up 117 yards through the airlanes to add to their impressive 202 total on the ground. The Packers were weakened by the loss of Jay Rhodemyre, ace center, who was called to his home in Ashland, KY because of the death of his father, Jay. He is expected to rejoin the team Saturday in Buffalo, where the Bays play Pittsburgh.
GREEN BAY     -   0   0   0   0  -   0
SAN FRANCISCO -   0   0  13   7  -  20
SF – Joe Perry, 42-yard run (Perry kick)  SAN FRANCISCO 7-0
SF – Joe Arenas, 95-yard punt return (Kick failed) SAN FRANCISCO 13-0
SF – Rex Berry,10-yard run (Y.A. Tittle kick)  SAN FRANCISCO 20-0
EXHIBITION - San Francisco 49ers 20, Green Bay Packers (1-2) 0
Wednesday September 12th 1951 (at Minneapolis)
SEPTEMBER 14 (Milwaukee Sentinel-Lloyd Larson) - If public response to the Packer-San Francisco charity venture Wednesday night is a criterion, there's room for pro football in this sportsminded city. No one is thinking in terms of a full schedule - merely an annual shot or two. That Minneapolis can and will handle. Definitely. Get this pre-game picture: It had rained for days. No ordinary rain, either, for it poured all Tuesday night and most of Wednesday. The outlook was so gloomy that common sense called for postponement. But it was difficult, if not absolutely impossible, for common sense to prevail because the Packers had to move on to Buffalo for another pre-league exhibition with Pittsburgh, a single wing team Sunday. So the game was played even though the new field at the Municipal Parade Stadium was gooshy and almost completely waterlogged, and the seats very wet, naturally. It wasn't until late afternoon that the rain stopped and the sky started to clear. Yet a crowd of 19,021, only 1,500 under the chummy little stadium's announced capacity, showed up. That was a miraculous crowd under conditions. The Packers, thanks mainly to their decision to do early season training at Grand Rapid, Minn., are in on the ground floor. Very likely they will continue to get first "rights" to what is expected to develop into an annual Catholic charities project - a growing and increasingly profitable project, too, for all concerned...PACKERS WON'T BE 'LOUSED AROUND': This is another step in bringing the Packers to the point where they won't be "lousing around" on early season exhibition arrangements. With Green Bay, Milwaukee and Minneapolis as key spots, they will be in position to take their pick of top drawing teams 'ere long. Green Bay always is good for one good early shot. As soon as the new Milwaukee Stadium is ready for occupancy, the annual Shrine sponsored test should be really a live one, and now Minneapolis, with prospects, for much greater seating capacity in the not too distant future. The Municipal Stadium here is within sight and easy reach of the downtown area. The field is part of a wide expanse of park-playground area which ultimately guarantees necessary parking space, too. As is typical in communities of all sizes, it took years of talking, planning and just plain bickering. But, finally the stadium dream came true. Rather, the beginning of a big dream for it is hoped to do a double decking job that, ultimately, will boost the seating capacity to 70,000. Dressing room and press box facilities, as is took often the case in construction of public buildings of this type, are far from satisfactory. There's the usual traffic handling problem, too, because of limited roadways leading into and out of the stadium area. But some day everything is going to be just right. So they say at least - which should be a warning to Milwaukeeans to think twice before they take up the old refrain. "We never get anything done right around here. What a jerk town we live in; why can't we keep pace with other cities"? Come to think of it. I've heard many a Milwaukeean hold up Minneapolis as a model among go-getting cities.
SEPTEMBER 13 (Green Bay) - Gene Ronzani experimented freely in the game against San Francisco and announced the release of five players at game's end: quarterback Bob Petruska, ends Art Edling and Al Hopewell, halfback Harry DeLoach and fullback George Rooks. The cut brought the Packers down to 40 men. The club must reach the limit of 33 before the first league game with the Chicago Bears September 30th
SEPTEMBER 15 (Cambridge Springs, PA) - The Steelers ran through their final tune-up drills today for tomorrow's game with the Green Bay Packers at Buffalo, with fullback Jerry Shipkey back in his familiar linebacking spot. The rugged back from Anaheim, Cal., reported to the squad yesterday in time for the afternoon drill. Shipkey's arrival was a welcome sight for the hard-pressed Steeler defense. The blond fullback checked in at 214 pounds, only four more than his normal playing weight. He probably will see action against the Packers tomorrow. Meanwhile, end Nick DeRosa, the rookie wingman from Pitt, may become the second Panther grad in two years to leave the Steelers for military service. He was ordered to report to Pittsburgh Monday for his Army physical exam. Last year, All-American Bernie Barkouskie, another Pitt alumni, left camp to join the Naval Air Corps. Coach Johnny Michelosen said today that halfback Ray Mathews, the slippery running back from Clemson, would take Lynn Chadnois' place in the offensive backfield against Green Bay. It will be the McKeesporter's first real crack as a ball carrier, his chores so far being limited mainly to defense. However, in five rare trips with the ball, Mathews has gained 70 yards. All his running was done against San Francisco last week when he led the Steeler team in ground gaining. The 40-man squad will leave for Buffalo early tomorrow morning and will return to Cambridge Springs immediately after the game to start preparing for next week's big test with the Chicago Bears at Forbes Field.
SEPTEMBER 15 (Buffalo) - A crowd of 15,000 is expected here tomorrow to see the Pittsburgh Steelers clash with the Green Bay Packer. The Steelers have been welcome in Buffalo ever since their president, Art Rooney, spearheading this city's unsuccessful fight to land a pro team in the NFL two years ago. Both teams will go into the game with identical records. The Packers defeated the Chicago Cards, 17-14, and dropped decisions to the Philadelphia Eagles, 14-10, and the San Francisco 49ers, 20-0. The Steelers beat the New York Yanks, 21-17, but lost to the Eagles, 24-9, and the 49ers, 24-7. As a result to the similarity of their performances against common foes, the game is regarded as a tossup. If there is an edge, it will be with the Steelers who will have their vaunted line at full strength for the first time this year. Tackles Carl Samuelson and Frank Wydo, both of whom have been injured, are ready to play against the Packer. It will be the first game for Wydo since he was injured against the Yanks. Samuelson played against San Francisco last week, but the big lineman failed to live up to his usual style of play. However, halfback Lynn Chadnois, the sparkplug of the Steelers' two-sided offense this year, will be unable to play. Chadnois bruised his ribs against 'Frisco last week. He will be replace by rookie Ray Mathews.
SEPTMBER 15 (Buffalo) - Gene Ronzani's Green Bay Packers will have an opportunity to square this pre-season exhibition game record Sunday afternoon in Civic Stadium when they oppose Pittsburgh's rugged Steelers before an expected gathering of 18,000 fans in a charity contest. The Packers will open with a veteran team that includes a backfield quartet composed of Tony Canadeo, Jack Cloud, Billy Grimes and Tobin Rote. In the line, Abner Wimberly and Bob Mann will open on the flanks; Leon Manley and Dick Wildung at tackles, Ham Nichols and Walt Michaels at guards and Ed Neal at center. The Packers carry a 12 pound per man weight edge into the fray. They average 221 pounds as compared with the Steelers' 209. Joe Geri, Pittsburgh's All-Pro halfback who carries the burden of the Steelers' single wing offense, will have Joe Gasparella at quarterback, Lynn Chadnois at right half and Jerry Nuzum at fullback. Val Jasante and Elbie Nickel will start at ends for Pittsburgh with Lou Allen and Frank Wydo at tackles, Dick Tomlinson and George Hughes at guards and Bill Walsh at center. Steeler coach Johnny Michelosen decided to keep his club at the Cambridge Springs, Pa., training base until Sunday morning. In the meantime, the Packers have had two days of practice on the local scene. Each club will dress 40 players for the game, seven over the National League limit which must be reached by the opening of the regular season. As a result the future of at least seven players on each club will depend on this exhibition performance.