Interesting Charlie in Soccer
Charlie Stoneham's first love in sporting enterprises is baseball, but the Gotham magnate is not blind to other promotions by which his Polo Grounds will be kept active and financial returns profitable. Stoneham has turned to soccer as a side issue at present, cognizant no doubt of the remarkable strides made in recent years in this sport and its growing popularity. Stoneham would hardly agree that soccer will outdraw baseball in America, but he could no doubt be made to admit that it is not only a "coming" sport but one that is strongly established and headed for a big future. That is why he is willing to experiment with a unique attraction to be held at the New York Polo Grounds on the evening of June 8 and has singled out the Bethlehem Steel F. C., American Soccer League champion and the most popular team in America.
Game in an Illuminated Park
Stoneham's theory is that soccer can be played successfully at night and if the experiment proves that he is correct it is likely that many games will be played in the Gotham district in the evening. For this occasion specially designed flood lights, similar to those transforming the Sesqui stadium into daylight at night, will be installed at the Polo Grounds. Mr. Stoneham has secured as an opponent for the Bethlehem team no less celebrated aggregation than the Hakoah All-Jewish club. It will be the second and last meeting with Bethlehem this season, the first of which was the inaugural of the Jewish booters in this country when the game played in Taylor Stadium on April 20 ended in a draw. The Bethlehem management is quite enthusiastic over the experiment, contending also that soccer might be played at night, which, if successful, will eliminate conflicting attractions when the soccer season in its closing stages dovetails with the season of baseball and other spring sports.
Tried Before and Proved Successful
The meeting of Bethlehem and Hakoah will not be the first soccer attraction played at night. Last year, if remembered correctly, the experiment was tried in Massachusetts. The game proved successful in spite of the fact that the illuminating facilities were probably not as elaborate as those which will be installed at big expense at the Polo Grounds. Experts in lighting have been called in to eliminate any possible shadows and if that condition can be successfully handled there is no reason why the game could not be played at night. At any rate, Mr. Stoneham's experiment is going to prove a novel attraction and promises to be rewarded by a heavy gate. There is quite some agitation by New York soccer boosters to place one of the big representative clubs in the Metropolis and perhaps Mr. Stoneham will be the one interested enough to tackle the proposition.