Thanksgiving football returns to Paterson's Hinchliffe Stadium after 30 years

Anthony Johnson Image
Thursday, November 23, 2023
Thanksgiving football returns to Hinchliffe Stadium after 30 years
Anthony Johnson has more on the Thanksgiving Day return of Hinchliffe Stadium.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Paterson is a place where the tradition of Thanksgiving Day football is still very much alive, and on this holiday, it marked the return of an historic local sporting venue.

Eastside versus Kennedy is a Paterson classic, but this year it's taking place at the newly renovated Hinchliffe Stadium and brings together friends from the rival schools.

This is the first time these teams have played in this stadium in 26 years. The mayor began the action with the ceremonial kick off... well a squib kick.

As for the football, Eastside can say they were the first to score.

"It feels great, it feels marvelous and seems like kids are really enjoying the sport," Michael Stradford said.

"It's like a homecoming for me, and I really enjoy it. It's a nice day out as you can see, it couldn't get any better," Jeffrey McDaniel said.

This is the 99th year these two teams have squared off, but over the past few years the teams have played on Thanksgiving Eve. Now they are back on Thanksgiving Day.

"Every year we say, 'we hope to play at Hinchliffe again,' we're not hoping anymore, we're playing at Hinchliffe Stadium on Thanksgiving once again," Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said. "History is happening today in Paterson on Thanksgiving."

The venue got rave reviews as everyone looks forward to the 100th meeting between Eastside and Kennedy for the turkey bowl in 2024.

"This is great for the kids, the community, togetherness. We needed this, we needed something to bring us back," Bessie Smith said.

The mayor promises to kick better next year.


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